Interview: Curator David Van Der Leer Discusses the BMW Guggenheim Lab in Mumbai Photo: Deepshikha Jain

How the Lab is a Three-Part Urban Think Tank, Community Center, and Public Space

"The lab is constantly shifting throughout the day. It's a beautiful element of the project, and the different parts depend on the various programs we have. Some days it functions very strongly as a think tank, and other days it's more about social engagement, where people hang out and learn much more in an artistic setting. What's interesting about the lab in Mumbai specifically is that we have the main location at the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum and also five other locations around the city. It is quite a feat of planning, I guess.

It's similar to New York in many ways, because here they are very busy-people work very, very long hours and have very little time off to do things before or after work. If people already travel, say, three hours a day, because the city is so big, how can you reach an audience and what do you need to do to make sure that it's not too complicated for the audience to get to you? So with that in mind, and also because we wanted to do research in more specific areas, we decided to break the lab up and have other locations around the city."

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