BMW Guggenheim Lab

In collaboration with Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the BMW Group

Museum Plaza

Dec 09, 2012 - Jan 20, 2013

Part urban think tank, community center, and public gathering space, the Lab is a global project aimed at raising awareness about important urban challenges, while inspiring an ongoing conversation in cities around the world. It addressed the issues of contemporary urban life through programs and public discourse with the goal to explore new ideas, to experiment, and ultimately to create forward-thinking visions for city life. The approach was part of the ME = WE programme, developed to generate new insights, with and for Mumbaikars, with potential to inspire other cities. The Lab offered projects, studies and design proposals that reflected Mumbai’s unique conditions.

The BMW Guggenheim Lab structure was a site specific installation designed by the Japanese architectural firm Atelier Bow-Wow.

The artist's sensitivity to her natural surroundings is reflected in her use of materials, her works draw upon locally cultivated coffee wood, tamarind kernels, rosewood, teak and cotton. Far from the empirical approach of the past, driven by collecting and classifying, Shettar's artistic oeuvre draws upon sensory experiences, however it is significant to note that her natural, fairy tale world of lights, shadows and floating sculptures is constructed through a scientific, technical process. Shettar negotiates a delicate balance between light and shadow, the daintiness of her installations emphasised by the intricate configurations that continue on the gallery walls, transferring her sculptures into the two dimensional space.

Closing Day at the Lab

On this final day of our stay in Mumbai, experience our unique space, interact with a few of the Lab’s innovative projects and installations, and join us as we reflect on what the Lab has meant for Mumbai—and what Mumbai has meant to the Lab.

Dharavi Diary: A Slum Innovation Project

Jan 20 at 11 am

Public education through storytelling can influence policy and create real social change. Join Dharavi Diary as they share their short film, talk about their initiative, and explain how they push the boundaries of filmmaking by trying to make a difference on a grassroots level.

Rethinking Kala Nagar Traffic Junction: Design Competition Panel Discussion

Jan 19 at 11:30 am

Join for a panel discussion on the winning entries for the Lab’s Rethinking Kala Nagar Traffic Junction Design Competition, a global call for innovative proposals to redesign one of Mumbai’s busiest transportation hubs, the Kala Nagar traffic junction. Hear what the experts have to say about the winning submissions—their design, their functionality, and their potential for implementation.

Peopling the City: Past and Present

Jan 14 - Jan 19 at 3:30 pm

Join for an evening of concluding thoughts, impressions, and highlights from the Lab's run in Mumbai from the Lab’s internal team, including the curator, Lab Team, and programs/project collaborators. Come share your own thoughts about what has made the Lab in Mumbai unique.

Mumbai Lab Highlights

Jan 14 - Jan 19 at 3:30 pm

In this workshop designed by the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, children ages 10–14 will work with professional puppeteer Meena Naik to create paper puppet figures representing the contemporary urban cultural identities of Mumbai. What puppet would you create—a movie star, bus conductor, cricketer, dabbawala, or doctor?

Me=We Memorandum

Jan 13 at 8 pm

To conclude the six-week Meet in the Middle series, join us as we frame a collaborative manifesto to improve life for all Mumbai residents.

Mumbai 2050: A Shared Origami Vision

Jan 12 at 3 pm

The Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum invites children aged 10 and above to participate in a final urban design workshop culminating six weeks of participants building their ideal city of Mumbai through origami creations.

Planning in a Dynamic City

Jan 10 at 3:30 pm

While the Mumbai Municipal Corporation works toward framing its twenty-year development plan in 2014, experts explain their vision of collaborative planning for Mumbai and how it can be achieved.

Mediating Public-Private Investment

Jan 6 at 3 pm

How do we incentivize public-private partnerships that operate across different social scales? Join this session to discuss how Mumbai’s public agencies can attract investors while serving the needs of residents.

Rethinking Skywalks and Sealinks

Jan 5 at 3 pm

Mumbai’s thirty-six skywalks have been the subject of heated debate. This session explores the qualitative potential of the Lab’s proposed networks of landlinks and skyrides, and critically examines how investments in transport through car-oriented sea links and pedestrian-oriented landlinks/skyrides could be made for Mumbai’s future.

Women and Social Spaces

Dec 30 at 3 pm 3 pm

There are very few spaces in Mumbai designated just for women. What could those spaces look like and how would they affect women’s comfort, safety, and ability to express themselves? Discuss and help explore this question at this interactive, women-only event.

An Auto-Taxi Discussion

Dec 29 at 3:30 pm

The Lab is calling all stakeholders to join for this collaborative roundtable discussion about how we can make improvements to the taxi/auto rickshaw system; how it can lead to win-win solutions for trade and the city; and how it can bridge the gap between public and private transport.

Participatory Planning

Dec 29 at 3 pm

The Municipal Corporation is now preparing Mumbai’s next development plan, scheduled to run from 2014–2034. Join this panel discussion on the citizen’s role in government development and participatory planning in Mumbai.

Your Space, My Space, or Our Public Space: Privacy Focus Group Discussion

Dec 28 at 3:30 pm

Join the fascinating Mumbai-wide study on privacy and space by participating in a focus-group discussion. Led by PUKAR, this conversation will explore the range of views and experiences we hold when we consider privacy and space in our city.


Dec 27 at 3 pm

The floor-decorating practice of rangoli is an art form steeped in tradition—experience this ritual on a grand scale as artists from around India face off in a competition. Help them complete their masterpieces and then choose the top designs.

We Like it Spicy: City Tours

Dec 23 at 3 pm

Join local experts in small groups around the city to explore Mumbai’s local spice trails in four distinct neighborhoods.

Mediating Public–Private Housing

Dec 21 at 3 pm

Fifty-two percent of Mumbai’s residents live in slums, yet the city has recently seen the construction of its first gated communities. Join this event to discuss how Mumbai can hold on to its celebrated dynamism in the face of this segregation.

Mediating Public–Private Transportation

Dec 20 at 3 pm

Mumbai’s trains are overflowing and its roads are jammed. In this panel discussion, we will explore how to balance the need for more public transport with the demands of those driving private vehicles.

Lighting the City

Dec 20 at 3 pm

Mumbai is famous for its celebration of light, but how can light be used to make the streets safer? Learn the fascinating history of street lighting in the city and participate in a workshop to learn the dazzling art of kandil making.

In Transience (2012), Presence (2012), Printed Rainbow (2006)

Dec 17 at 3 pm

Can fantasy obscure and subvert the sharp distinction between the private and the public in a city? Join us for three short films exploring this question: In Transience (Yashaswini R., Ekta Mittal, India, 2012, 27 min.), Presence (Yashaswini R., Ekta Mittal, India, 2012, 18 min.), and Printed Rainbow (Gitanjal Rao, India, 2006, 15 min.).

Sensing Mumbai, Part II

Dec 16 at 3 pm

Drawing on video and personal experiences from Sensing Mumbai, Part I, explore how we sense, interact with, and react to our cities differently without sight. This event begins with a 20-minute on-site visual experience.

Heart of Mumbai Workshop: Bridging the Infrastructure

Dec 16 at 3 pm

Join this hands-on workshop led by practitioners in the field, and explore new ways to connect transport, water, and housing infrastructure. We’ll use maps and models to investigate how best to bridge the gap between informal settlements and other areas in Mumbai.

Psychology on the Street

Dec 15 at 3 pm

What kinds of places make us happy or cause stress? Colin Ellard, a professor at the University of Waterloo, will describe the development of the methods of “street psychogeography,” share findings, and discuss future prospects for this new method of studying human responses to place.

Stories of Mumbai | Puppet Show

Dec 14 at 7 pm

The Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum invites you and your family to a puppet show that explores the urban history of Mumbai through the stories of its citizens and the development of trade, migration, opportunity, and cosmopolitanism.

Your Space, My Space, or Our Public Space
PUKAR-BMW Guggenheim Lab Collaboration

Dec 14 at 3 pm

Join PUKAR as they present a few illuminating stories, maps and data from the BGL-PUKAR collaboration investigating the topic of privacy and public space in the city and learn more about their important work in the city.

Comfortably Sustainable

Dec 13 at 3:30 pm

Even a casual visitor can see that Mumbai’s public utilities are overstretched. How can private entities and public organizations work together to make Mumbai more comfortable and sustainable? Join us to discuss collaborative approaches to problem-solving.


Dec 13 at 3:30 pm

India’s rich tradition of floral adornment makes it one of the world’s largest markets for flower consumption. Learn the delicate craft of floristry from local experts, and decorate the Lab with your own handmade creations.

Mapping Privacy in Public Spaces

Dec 10 - Jan 13 at 3 pm

Where do people find or create private, personal space (outside of domestic space, that is) in a city as dense as Mumbai? Join the Lab in an ongoing series facilitated by the KRVIA Design Cell as we ask visitors to participate in visually mapping these physical locations by using geo-tagged cameras out in the city, creating mental maps, and analyzing the results.

Music Magic

Dec 9 at 6 pm

Discover the music of Mumbai’s myriad communities in an evening of song, story, and discussion. Consider why we make music, what links it so inextricably to traditions and rituals, and how it helps protect, empower, and even connect communities.

Split City Mumbai: Time Scarcity, Space Scarcity

Dec 9 at 3 pm

Mumbai is a city of vast divides, where the quality of services depends on where you live. In this panel discussion, join us as we examine Mumbai’s conditions.

Your Place, My Place, or Our Public Space? Privacy and Spaces in Mumbai Survey

Dec 9 - Jan 13 at 3 pm

What do you think about privacy in relation to yourself, your friends and family, and your communities? PUKAR, in collaboration with the Lab, has been exploring these questions throughout Mumbai. Visit the Lab, join this research initiative, and share your own ideas about privacy.

Testing, Testing! Mumbai

Dec 9 - Jan 14 at 3:30 pm

What effect does the city have on your brain and physiology? Colin Ellard gathers evidence about the psychological effects of public spaces. Join Ellard on this tour, measure Mumbai’s effects on your own brain and body, and be part of this international experiment.

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