The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and BMW announced on Friday that they will collaborate for the next six years on a project called the BMW Guggenheim Lab, an initiative to conduct a vast research and development project that will engage the public and improve urban life. Details about the format of the Lab project and the expected results were slim. “The goal is to develop and create solutions for future cities,” said Frank-Peter Arndt, a member of the board of management from BMW Group, at a press conference held in the basement of the Guggenheim.
While the project’s ambiguities seemed to vex a couple of audience members, the basic idea is this: Led by two curators from the Guggenheim, the first Lab will likely include a café, a workspace, and an area for free public programming. Housed in a moveable structure designed by Atelier Bow-Wow, a Tokyo-based architecture firm that has designed mobile and prefabricated projects for urban settings, the Lab will open in a yet unnamed North American city in late summer 2011. An advisory team of nine experts from various disciplines will nominate Lab team candidates. Ultimately, four candidates will be chosen, also from mixed disciplines such as art, architecture, science, and economics. They will work in the Lab to address a chosen theme, the first of which is “Confronting Comfort: The City and You.” The Lab will pack up and move to two other cities – in Asia and Europe – for a total two-year cycle.