Today, Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation
, and Frank-Peter Arndt, member of the Board of Management, BMW AG, announced that the BMW Guggenheim Lab will open in Mumbai on December 9, 2012, and will operate through January 20, 2013.
The central site for the Mumbai Lab will be at the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, located in the heart of the Byculla district next to the city's botanical gardens and zoo. Additionally, nearly half of the public programs will be held at a network of satellite locations throughout the city, making the Labs programming available to a wide range of audiences and communities. In a statement, Armstrong said,"The BMW Guggenheim Lab Mumbai will take its programs out to the people in a new way. As we expand and evolve the conversation about important issues of urban life, what better city to continue this thrilling process of exploration and discovery than Mumbai, the commercial and entertainment capital of India and a leading scientific center."
In each of the cities visited by the Lab, a new Lab Team convenes, who design a roster of public programming in conjunction with Guggenheim staff. The Mumbai Lab Team consists of an international group of experts and innovators, all emerging talents in their fields: Aisha Dasgupta, a British demographer based in Malawi whose research lies in the field of international development; China-based Dutch architect Neville Mars, who applies urban research to realize sustainable projects on all scales; Trupti Amritwar Vaitla, a Mumbai architect and urban transport designer; and Héctor Zamora, a Mexican artist based in Brazil who works extensively in public space and engagement.
Together with Guggenheim curator David van der Leer, the Mumbai Lab Team has created a series of projects, academic and participatory studies, and design proposals for Mumbai, along with neighborhood-specific public programming for the satellite locations. The Labs goal is to integrate theoretical discussions with daily activities and engagement that can facilitate urban change.
"With more people than ever living in cities, we need a better understanding of urban life with all its opportunities and challenges," said Van der Leer."We believe that the ideas, investigations and experiments of the Lab will help us rethink how the effective use or reuse of personal and public space can positively impact our cities."
Atelier Bow-Wow, the architect for the BMW Guggenheim Lab, has designed a new structure uniquely suited for the densely populated environment of Mumbai and modeled after the Indian mandapa, an outdoor pavilion traditionally used for public rituals and events. Constructed primarily of bamboo, a building material used throughout South Asia, the L-shaped structure will be situated under a canopy of trees in the gardens of the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum. A "pop-up" traveling version of the Lab, essentially one wing of the central structure, will visit satellite sites throughout the city.
The days and hours of operation of the BMW Guggenheim Lab Mumbai, as well as the satellite locations and a full programming schedule, will be announced later this fall.