Last year BMW had made a commitment for a six year project in association with the Guggenheim Museum. The resultant BMW Guggenheim Lab aims to develop new ideas for design and urban living. The project has started taking a definite shape now as the company unveiled the project details at an event at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. The Lab has been designed by the Japanese architectural firm Atelier Bow-Wow. It will be made largely from carbon fiber and work as a theatre space. It has been designed to be an open air installation.
David van der Leer, the co-curator of the Lab explained that it aims to function as a forum to deal with social, political and environmental issues. The newly designed Lab is scheduled to be installed in a city owned lot on Second Avenue near Houston Street by August in New York City to kick off the global tour of the Lab. It will move to Berlin 2012 and finally to Asia. The team working for the Lab will use the platform to investigate key urban challenges. Public interaction will be encouraged through various public programs and workshops.
BMW is not new to cultural programs but has been doing such programs for the last fifty years but they all had a direct bearing on the BMW products like the art car project. Thomas Girst, BMW Group Spokesman Culture Communication confirmed that the Lab was the biggest such project they have undertaken so far. It is an initiative on the part of the company to exceed the core auto business. The company is very happy with Guggenheim’s attitude and openness to new ideas as is evident from their recent exhibition ‘Art of the Motorcycle’. The project is not part of a brand building exercise for BMW but definitely wants to be perceived as a company that is genuinely interested in the challenges that lie ahead.