German car companies are thinking about the cities of the future. Audi has its Urban Initiative, BMW has a multi-year city future project in cooperation with the Guggenheim, now gathered together in a show at the Guggenheim in New York. Volkswagen’s effort to look at future cities is a multi year partnership with the Museum of Modern Art and its junior branch in Queens, PS One, where the company has built the VW Dome, an inflatable hemisphere that looks like some Cold War era radar station. The efforts began in the aftermath of storm Sandy about a year ago. Inside the dome ( photo above ) on Saturday were the latest elements of the effort: presentations by architects and planners addressing an urban future where 75 per cent of the world’s population will live in cities and most will be poor. [ audi ][ bmw / guggenheim ] [ vw / moma / ps1 ]
BMW’s three year collaboration with the Guggenheim museum explored the subject of the city and established urban labs in New York, Berlin, and Mumbai. Now some of the results are being displayed at the Guggenheim’s building in New York. There are objects, like the water saving park bench from Mars architects, and images, like smart data maps.
MARS architects (neville mars) was commissioned by the BMW guggenheim lab to participate in the think tank’s long-term vision to develop interventions that would benefit our cities and greater urban environments. for their participation, the international firm focused on water concerns, creating an outdoor piece of furniture that collects and stores rainwater through functional cushions
The exhibition also features prototypes of the Water Bench, a project developed during the Mumbai Lab by architect Neville Mars of MARS Architects. Created to address water scarcity and the need for leisure space in Mumbai, the Water Bench collects rainfall for re-use in irrigation and provides public seating. A prototype of the Water Bench is planned for First Park in New York, the original site of the Lab, and six more currently are installed throughout Mumbai.[ water bench ]
[ official bmw release ]
Participatory City: 100 Urban Trends from the BMW Guggenheim Lab, an exhibition summing up the experiences and concepts generated during the two-year run of the BMW Guggenheim Lab, will be presented from October 11, 2013 to January 5, 2014, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. The exhibition is the culmination of the Lab – an urban think tank, community center, and public gathering space – that traveled from New York to Berlin and Mumbai to inspire innovative ideas about urban life and new ways of thinking about cities. Tens of thousands of participants engaged with the Lab’s free public programs, urban projects, and research initiatives, both on-site and online, which informed and helped shape the exhibition. The BMW Guggenheim Lab is a co-initiative of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the BMW Group.
“With the BMW Guggenheim Lab, we have extended our mission beyond the walls of the museum, providing the Guggenheim with new ways to engage directly with the public and demonstrate our commitment to innovation in the fields of architecture and urbanism,” said Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation. “The Lab ignited an important conversation about the differences and commonalities of urban environments and the power of cities as idea-makers. The Participatory City exhibition brings together the ideas found along the way, celebrating this journey and showcasing the extraordinary people and places we encountered.”
“With the New York exhibition, the BMW Guggenheim Lab adventure comes full circle. During its travels, the Lab connected people from around the world to address the challenges that so many megacities face today and in the future. Each and every one of these people who actively participated in this project, be it online or on site, are the reason for the Lab’s success,” said Maximilian Schöberl, Senior Vice President, Corporate and Governmental Affairs, BMW Group. “The exhibition allows us the opportunity to reflect on the Lab as a whole to better understand how this thinking will continue to inform urban life.”
Participatory City is organized by Maria Nicanor, Curator of the BMW Guggenheim Lab and Associate Curator, Architecture and Urbanism.
[ exhibition overview ]
Participatory City is inspired by 100 of the most talked-about ideas in urban thinking explored at the Labs in New York, Berlin, and Mumbai. The terms, or trends, featured in the exhibition have been selected from 100 Urban Trends: A Glossary of Ideas from the BMW Guggenheim Lab, which includes a total of 300 terms compiled from the three Lab venues. New and old, established and of-the-moment, these terms all relate to the ways we understand, design, and inhabit cities. Each term references a particular Lab event or experience, highlighting participatory programs, tours, talks, workshops, film screenings, and urban research projects offered in each city. Projections of these terms alongside drawings, sketches, and short videos representing the terms will continuously loop on the gallery walls in an all-digital installation. Videos and images from each of the three cities will bring the Labs to life throughout the exhibition. In addition, a global roster of architects, academics, designers, and artists have created digital responses to the 100 Urban Trends, available at youtube/bmwguggenheimlab
Participatory City examines a wide variety of trends, a number of which address how we interact with cities. These include:
Participatory Urbanism, a concept integral to the programs in New York, Berlin, and Mumbai, in which citizens are empowered to collect data and contribute ideas to urban decision-makers;
Ostrich Effect, a topic discussed in Mumbai that describes how individuals convey their indifference to the harsh conditions of everyday street life;
Collaborative Urban Mapping, an example of a small-scale intervention in an urban environment, which was produced through collaboration and open-source data in Berlin to map elements of the food supply chain;
Suburban Sprawl, representing outward urban growth;
and the concept of Happy City and psychological well-being in urban environments.
Other trends include the 3D Printer revolution that has led to increased Customization; Arduino, hardware developed for operating robots; and urban concepts such as 10,000 Honks, Bottom-Up Urban Engagement, Collective Memory, The New Architect, Eviction, Food Distribution, Gentrification, Infrastructure of Waste and Non-Iconic Architecture, among others.
“Cities are concentrations of buildings, streets, transportation systems, and physical infrastructure, but it is people who are at the center of urban discourse and it is people who, through participation and interaction, continue to make cities vibrant centers for the generation of ideas that shape our world,” said Nicanor. “It is this sense of participation that continues to empower urban progress one idea at a time. Participatory City documents the BMW Guggenheim Lab’s journey to identify some of the most urgent challenges for cities today and the ideas that could help improve them.”
The exhibition also features prototypes of the Water Bench, a project developed during the Mumbai Lab by architect Neville Mars of MARS Architects. Created to address water scarcity and the need for leisure space in Mumbai, the Water Bench collects rainfall for re-use in irrigation and provides public seating. A prototype of the Water Bench is planned for First Park in New York, the original site of the Lab, and six more currently are installed throughout Mumbai.
[ public programs ]
Throughout the run of Participatory City, a series of public programs focusing on a selection of the 100 Urban Trends expand on the issues and projects explored by the BMW Guggenheim Lab.
Fri, Oct 11, 6:30 pm / Urban Data: Michael Flowers and Mayor Bloomberg’s Office of Policy and Strategic Planning
Michael Flowers, Director of Analytics for Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Office of Policy and Strategic Planning, talks about the role of urban data in New York, and how untapped information and data sets can be harnessed to improve the way the city runs.
Sat, Nov 2, 8:30 pm / Happy City: Charles Montgomery
Charles Montgomery, former Lab Team member and author of Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design, (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013), launches his book and presents fun experiments in trust and play, looking into the striking relationship between the design of our minds and the design of our cities.
Sun, Dec 1, 6:30 pm / Rainwater Harvesting: Neville Mars
Neville Mars, architect, founder of Dynamic City Foundation, and former Lab Team member, discusses his interest in design solutions that conserve water and how it led to the creation of the Water Bench, an urban bench that collects rainwater for re-use.
Fridays, Oct 11-Jan 3 (except Nov 29), 3 pm / Film Series: Cinematic Sites
Selected by Paul Dallas, organizer of the BMW Guggenheim Lab’s film program in New York in 2011, this series examines the relationship between the urban environment and cinematic storytelling. The series includes films set in the Lab venues of New York, Berlin, and Mumbai as well as other cities around the world including Cairo, Chengdu, Los Angeles, Recife, San Francisco, Tehran, and Vienna.
Programs are $7, $5 for members and free for students who RSVP. Films are screened in the New Media Theater, Lower Level and are free with museum admission. [ details ]
[ bmw guggenheim lab ]
A co-initiative of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the BMW Group, the BMW Guggenheim Lab launched in New York (August 3 – October 16, 2011) with a focus on the theme “Confronting Comfort;” traveled to Berlin (June 15 – July 29, 2012), with the theme “Making,” emphasizing citizen participation in shaping cities; and finally opened at multiple sites in Mumbai (December 9, 2012 – January 20, 2013), where projects and programs explored the theme of “Privacy.” Participants from more than 160 countries and territories around the world participated in the Lab’s nearly 600 public programs, workshops, lectures, and research and urban projects, both on-site and online. The BMW Guggenheim Lab’s global program concludes with the exhibition Participatory City: 100 Urban Trends from the BMW Guggenheim Lab, on view at the Guggenheim Museum, New York from October 11, 2013 to January 5, 2014. The BMW Guggenheim Lab was curated by Maria Nicanor of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and David van der Leer.
The mobile structures for the Lab were designed by the Tokyo architecture firm Atelier Bow-Wow, including a novel carbon-fiber structure used in New York and Berlin and a set of bamboo structures installed at multiple locations in Mumbai. The graphic identity of the Lab, which included an interactive logo, was developed by Seoul-based graphic designers Sulki & Min. Together with Guggenheim curators, three Lab Teams composed of individuals from a variety of disciplines developed programs specific to each city.
The project’s blog, Lab | Log, features interviews with BMW Guggenheim Lab contributors and includes coverage of the Lab’s activities. The public is invited to join the BMW Guggenheim Lab’s dedicated social communities on Twitter @BMWGuggLab and #BGLab, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and Foursquare, and to subscribe to the Lab’s e-newsletter.
[ bmw’s cultural committment ]
For over 40 years now, the BMW Group has initiated and engaged in more than 100 cultural partner-ships worldwide. The focus of this long-term commitment to culture is modern and contemporary art, jazz and classical music as well as architecture and design. BMW has worked with artists such as Ger-hard Richter, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Olafur Eliasson, Jeff Koons, Zubin Metha, Daniel Baren-boim and Anna Netrebko and commissioned architects such as Karl Schwanzer, Zaha Hadid and Coop Himmelb(l)au. In London, BMW in partnership with the London Symphony Orchestra, hosts the BMW LSO Open Air Classics, a yearly live concert free of charge in Trafalgar Square, and supports Frieze Art Fair. The BMW Group takes absolute creative freedom in all the cultural activities it is involved in for granted – as this is just as essential for groundbreaking artistic work as it is for major innovations in a successful business. [ details ]
The BMW Group
[ the bmw group ]
The BMW Group is the leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles in the world with its BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 28 pro-duction and assembly facilities in 13 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 coun-tries.
In 2012, the BMW Group sold about 1.85 million cars and more than 117,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax for the financial year 2012 was euro 7.82 billion on revenues amounting to euro 76.85 billion. At 31 December 2012, the BMW Group had a workforce of 105,876 employees.
The success of the BMW Group has always been built on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy. [ details ]
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The latest installment of Audi’s Urban Future Initiative saw a presentation of urban planning ideas by Höweler+Yoon Architecture. The Boston based firm won a competition among firms last year with its vision of a new multimode transportation corridor for the northeast US, the sprawl from Boston to Washington abbreviated as “Boswash.” That corridor contains some 53 million people and one-third of the country’s gross domestic product. In the so called Shareway, high speed rail, autos and bicycles (giant futuristic bicycles, to judge from the drawings) would be bundled together.
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Chicago’s Burnham plan is 100 years old.
above: image from the 1909 publication ”Plan of Chicago” by Daniel Burnham. Burnham was famous for the dictum “Make no little plans,” and Jules Guerin’s alluring watercolor renderings in the published “Plan of Chicago” gave this vision an ethereal cast.
above: daniel hudson burnham.
above: This view from the Plan of Chicago shows Grant Park and a proposed harbor in the lake. Much of Daniel Burnham’s plan for the layout of the city was implemented. In addition to being an important planning document, the 1909 plan was a beautiful work of art. (Photo courtesy Chicago Historical Society)
above: River intersection, from Daniel H. Burnham and Edward H. Bennett, Plan of Chicago. note: the building depicted on the far right is now merchandise mart which was built in 1930.
above: Guerin, Jules. “Proposed Boulevard to connect the north and south sides of the river; View looking north from Washington Street.” (artwork courtesy of Newberry Library) note: in 1909 no one appears to have envisioned the “sky scraper” though “invented” by William Le Baron Jenney (1832–1907) with his ten-story Home Insurance Building on the corner of La Salle and Monroe streets in Chicago in 1885.
above: Burnham Pavilion by Zaha Hadid Architects, a temporary pavilion in Millennium Park, Chicago.
above: The pavilion, along with another designed by UNStudio (see below), will celebrate the Burnham Plan Centennial events and will be open to the public from 19 June to 31 October.
above: The temporary pavilion from Ben van Berkel of UNStudio.
WGN: video of scale model
Chicago was lucky to have an urban visionary who not only had credibility but social clout amongst Chicago’s elite. Planning for this Centennial has been going on for over a year and there are fortunately
above: to give a modern and sustainable twist to the original idea, wind turbines will also be incorporated in the project to add economic value and show Chicago’s dedication to sustainability. An observation tower will be placed at the center of the bridge, providing spectacular views of the lake and city.
Chicago hopes that the Eco-Bridge will further enhance their bid for the 2016 Olympic Games – they hope the observation tower will be used to house the Olympic flame.
Chicago is also lucky to have a visionary with all kinds of clout who is inspired by Europe, loves all things green, bikes all over the city, likes scale models and the Olympic Games. Thank you mayor Richard M. Daley.
The Burnham Plan: the plan for chicago
Chicago Architecture Foundation: burnham plan centennial events
The Art Institute of Chicago: without bonds or limits
Wikipedia: daniel burnham
Wikipedia: burnham plan
The Urbanophile: what made the plan successful
Paul Goldberger: toddlin’ town
Unbeige: excited mayor leads to scale model
Whether or not you must throw your trash on the street, what about pink and white polka dot designer trash bags? Or Anycoloryoulike?
Each bag is biodegradable and treated with repellent for even rodents of unusual size. Though this is a New York City art intervention initiative, you can splashy trash in your town too.
How much brainpower does it take to blog? I know! Let’s ask a plant! Well, it seems that’s possible in Japan where a plant has
been wired wired with sensors that pick up bio-electrical signals and converts the signals into data that’s then translated into Japanese. Are you following this?
A typical entry? “It was cloudy today. It was a cold day.” Sounds like the plant could Twitter.
It’s a university engineer’s project about communicating with plants. Let’s do the right thing here and point this engineer to Facebook.
See for yourself at plant blog
Architect Santiago Calatrava is in the news suing the developer of the Chicago Spire.
Mary Ellen Podmolik and Blair Kamin, Chicago Tribune reporters spell it out.
“The Chicago Spire’s penthouse may be sold but there is growing doubt whether the project will rise out of the hole that’s been created at 400 N. Lake Shore Drive.
Consultants on the project are starting to line up seeking payment for their work on the development, designed to become the tallest skyscraper in the United States and one of the tallest in the world. The most well-known of the consultants, architect Santiago Calatrava, filed a lien on Oct. 8 through his Lente Festina Ltd., seeking more than $11.3 million in payment from Spire developer Shelbourne Development Group Inc.
Separately, Chicago-based architectural design firm Perkins+Will Inc. filed a lien against Shelbourne for almost $4.85 million in payment. The two liens were filed with the Cook County recorder of deeds.
The liens suggest the project’s financing, as well as its feasibility, is shaky.”
Recently, Donald Trump was in town to top off his 92-story Trump Tower. Here is an excerpt from the Chicago Tribune
DA editor’s note: Struggles of this scale and stature have not happened very often in the U.S. In other parts of the world it may be more commonplace. One enjoyable and very enlightening exhibition I attended at the Art Institute of Chicago was on Russian architecture. All the buildings on display were never built! Things were ( are? ) so bad in Russia at the time that the frustrated architects, who never could get funding, had competitions of concepts only. The guest architects laughed about the great deal of vodka drinking and story-telling taking place at these competitions. Creative therapy in action.
Let’s hope everything works out in the end. From a design perspective, Chicago would like to see a Calatrava somewhere in town – his work, inspirational. If it has to be utilitarian in this economic environment the city has many needy bridges. Until then, the Milwaukee Art Museum, an hour away, will not disappoint, especially at sunset when the “wings” unfurl.
( above ) Image found one week after original post: dynamic architecture next big thing! Inspiration strikes in the most unlikely places.
We’ve seen the splendor of China’s Bird’s Nest, now check out a new contender for the prize of most unique stadium. The stadium design by MZ & Partners Architects has already earned the nickname “The Laptop.” The main stand is upright with most of its height coming from the underground field. All lights will be embedded in the surrounding architecture of the stadium. It is hoped that the underground stadium will help keep the players and spectators cooler. It is expected to be completed in 2010.
If all goes to plan, ‘The Wall’ stadium in Doha, Qatar’s capital city, will claim two firsts: The world’s first underground stadium and the world’s first open-air, air-conditioned stadium. There’s a long way to go however and the stadium is not due to be completed untl 2010 at the earliest, however if the finished product looks anything like the plans released by MZ & Partners Architects then paying spectators are in for a treat.
After looking at the stadium from above you can immediately see why The Wall has already gained the nickname ‘The Laptop’. The stadium’s main stand sits upright, the majority of its height emerging from the underground pitch as if having been lifted opened by an enormous referee. There will be no traditional floodlights, a feature the architects seem to be quite proud of, as all lights will be embedded within the surrounding architecture, adding to the stadium’s mystical feel.
So why underground? Obviously it’s a great coup to have the world’s first underground stadium but there’s one invaluable benefit, especially in a climate such as Qatar’s: temperature control. A subterranean stadium should ensure that the pitch and its spectators retain a cool, bearable atmosphere naturally without the need to spend millions of pounds on air-conditioning.
The stadium is apparently part of Doha’s forthcoming bid to host the 2018 World Cup and if the location was decided purely down to stadium architecture, they may have a chance. The one concern? The Wall will only be able to seat 11′000 people.
Designer: MZ & Partners Architects