BMW is taking its Guggenheim Lab cultural collaboration to Mumbai after stops in New York, and Berlin.
The six-year collaboration between the blue chip automaker and the prestigious museum kicked off this past summer in New York. Now the global road show is heading to India to examine the relationship between social behavior and art and cutting to the heart of pressing urban challenges worldwide.
Running from December 9 through January 20, the Mumbai installation — which will be based in the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum — will offer “design projects, participatory studies, tours, talks, workshops, film screenings and cultural activities [that] will address challenges and opportunities related to public space and the choices Mumbaikars make to balance individual and community needs.”
While the focus will be on innovation and game-changing solutions, local city-planning issues such as housing, water, governance, and of course, transportation will be examined, with the cultural nuances of India: “Design projects are planned to include an open competition to develop solutions for a heavily congested traffic junction in Mumbai and an exploration of ways to refit obsolete infrastructure with new public space and pedestrian functions.”
The physical structure for BMW Guggenheim Lab Mumbai, once again designed by Tokyo architects Atelier Bow-Wow, is inspired by a traditional outdoor Indian mandapa, a bamboo pavilion used in celebrations and public events, and a modified version will include satellite locations throughout the city.
“Mumbai once again demonstrates the BMW Guggenheim Lab’s ability to continuously adapt and re-imagine itself during its continuing journey through the world’s metropolises,” said Frank-Peter Arndt, member of the Board of Management, BMW AG in a press release.
The Mumbai Lab Team includes Guggenheim curator David van der Leer and curatorial assistant Stephanie Kwai, as well as four emerging talents: Aisha Dasgupta, a British demographer based in Malawi; China-based Dutch architect Neville Mars; Mumbai architect and urban transport designer Trupti Amritwar Vaitla; and Héctor Zamora, a Mexican artist based in Brazil.
“While the Lab Team in Berlin defined for themselves an overarching theme of “making,” the Lab Team in Mumbai has selected the relationship of the individual to the community—especially in regards to public space—as a distinct sub-theme to the larger Lab theme of Confronting Comfort.”
In Berlin, protest from leftist groups against the Lab’s ‘gentrifying influence’ caused some nimble adapting and relocating.
“With Mumbai being the Lab’s first sojourn in a non-Western country…it is difficult to gauge what kind of a response it will elicit from the community. Hopefully, with Mumbai-based architect Trupti Amritwar Vaitla and Delhi-based transportation planner and safety expert Geetam Tiwari on the Mumbai Lab team and advisory committee, the Mumbai Lab will be as sensitive to its urban surroundings as its core agenda makes it out to be.”
And even if you won't be in Mumbai any time soon, you can still participate virtually via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and YouTube.