Top Ten Urban Trends From BMW Guggenheim Lab

Top Ten Urban Trends From BMW Guggenheim Lab

These trends show the most talked about ideas collected from two years of projects and workshops in NYC, Berlin and Mumbai.

Emma Hutchings
  • 24 may 2013

BMW Guggenheim Lab has released a new resource, ‘100 Urban Trends’, a glossary of the most talked about urban ideas collected from two years of programs, workshops and projects in NYC, Berlin and Mumbai. It aims to identify the top trends in urban thinking as they were discussed in the three locations.

Each glossary offers 100 contextualized definitions that apply to the way we understand, design, and live in cities. They are new and old, classic and ephemerally fashionable. Each definition concludes with an example of a Lab program that illustrated the relevance and context of that term. The top trends include:

  • 3-D Printer – the rise of 3-D printers in rapid prototyping has popularized and democratized the creation of objects at an individual level. 3-D printers are changing the way we understand and construct our built environment.
  • Bike Politics – this refers to the debate on greater bike infrastructure in cities, from the need for more bike lanes and more secure bike storage to better safety and traffic laws to reduce cyclist fatalities.
  • Confronting Comfort – this is the practice of finding a balance between notions of modern comfort and the urgent need for environmentally responsible solutions that empower us all.
  • Hacking The City – transforming the system of a city through informal actions by its own inhabitants.
  • Collaborative Urban Mapping – today’s mapping offers the ability to display a plurality of data and information with a high level of precision. Produced through collaboration and open-source data sharing, they contain several layers of information in one single digital source.
  • Maker Movement – a participatory, social culture that invites and inspires all kinds of people and communities to invent, build, and hack.
  • Skill Share – a platform for individuals to exchange knowledge in order to create solidarity based on cooperation and generosity.
  • Feel-Good Urbanism – this refers to the ubiquitous presence of certain frequently used terms that describe positive, politically correct practices in urban spaces and architecture.
  • Right To Information – this guarantees Indian citizens the right to obtain information from the government about the activities of any government body or public authority owned, controlled, or substantially financed by the government.
  • Urban Sensory Experience – this speaks to the vastly complicated network of human senses and interactions that impact the way one perceives and moves through the city.

The Top Urban Trends From BMW Guggenheim Lab’s Glossary Of Ideas

The glossaries were written by Lab curator Maria Nicanor, curatorial assistants Amara Antilla and Stephanie Kwai, and the Lab’s resident writer, Christine McLaren. Richard Armstrong, director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, said:

These glossaries are meant to further the conversations started by the Lab and spark analyses of these three cities and comparisons of the respective urban environments. Integral to these glossaries is the concept of cities as hubs for ideas, and how the Lab has captured some of the prevailing thoughts citizens and experts alike have about their cities.

BMW Guggenheim Lab


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