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December 04, 2012

BMW Guggenheim Lab Arrives in Mumbai

By Erin Schumaker | Museums


© Luke Abiol, 2012 Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

After successful runs in New York and Berlin, the BMW Guggenheim Lab moves to India on December 9 for a six-week stay in Mumbai. A combination of an urban think tank, a community center and a public gathering space, the program brings together international experts and innovators with the Mumbai community to address issues of urban living. “Mumbai is one of the biggest and most rapidly changing cities in the world,” says curator David van der Leer. “It made sense to go there.”

Unlike the New York and Berlin labs, Mumbai’s operates on a pop-up model, with satellite locations throughout the city in addition to a central site at the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum. Van der Leer sees this multisite model as an important way to engage the public in a city of more than 20 million. “We can go into different neighborhoods where normally we might not be able to reach people too easily,” he explains.

The primary topics of discussion will be related to transportation, housing, water, governance and public space, including an open competition to redesign the traffic junction of Kala Nagar, a five-lane nightmare that sees nearly 50,000 people and 20,000 vehicles per peak hour.

In addition to policy and urban-planning talks, film screenings, storytellers and chefs round out the family-friendly roster, creating a model of public participation at its very best. Through January 20; bmwguggenheimlab.org.