Rendering of the BMW Guggenheim Lab in Kreuzberg; Image: BMW Guggenheim Lab/ Atelier Bow-Wow
The BMW Guggenheim Lab, the world's first (only?) mobile urban laboratory, will not be bringing its itinerary of lectures, events, and thought-games to Berlin's Kreuzberg district, as it was scheduled to do so this coming May. The Guggenheim Foundation have canceled the trip, reports Bloomberg, after activists have leveled threats at the Lab, which they believed would have accelerated the area's gentrification.
The Lab, designed by Atelier Bow-Wow as a collapsible space to be shipped around the world, was set to travel to nine different international cities over the next six years to provoke public discussion about future urban life and, in doing so, begin to "confront" the comfort which insulates individual and collective social responsibilities. The project opened to, mostly, welcome crowds in New York last August, where young, hip creative professionals mingled amid a decidedly comfortable scene of brightly colored summerwear and artisanal treats while a giant Whole Foods loomed in the background. Enough to warrant the "violence" supposedly promised by the opponents of the Berlin project? (Of course not, duh.)
In a statement released yesterday, the Guggenheim expressed regret for canceling the second leg of the Lab's tour, especially since the project's expressed purposed "is to create a space for public discussion, open to the widest possible range of views. While we welcome vigorous debate, we cannot risk the possibility of violence, as raised by a small minority." For now, the Lab will move elsewhere, though the exact location has yet to be announced.