Over the past several months here on Lab | Log, we’ve been having a lot of fun with our 100 Urban Trends series—articles, essays, op-eds, and other written explorations of terms pulled from the Lab’s three 100 Urban Trends glossaries.
In fact, of all the series we’ve run over the past couple years—and wow, there have been many—it may have even been my favorite yet. Why? One of the main reasons we do what we do here on Lab | Log is that we believe in the power of context when it comes to good ideas and discussions. It’s why this blog was created in the first place. While the Lab was settled in each of its three cities, workshopping, experimenting with, learning about, and studying new ideas and issues on a hyper-local level, the blog’s goal was always to bring those ideas and issues out from within the Lab and explore them, with additional perspectives, in the context of the greater world.
The 100 Urban Trends series let us do that in a whole new way, working with an arsenal of amazing guest bloggers from around the world who had free reign to interpret some of the many “trends” the Lab came across over the course of its run.
Looking back through the series today, I was reminded of the rich diversity of perspective these writers offered—from journalist Naresh Fernandes’s poetic consolidation of the dissonance around the corrupt and unjust redevelopment of former Mumbai mill land to architect Marina Otero Verzier’s pointed and beautiful defense of temporary architecture as that which truly “echoes our dreams and uncertainties.”
For my own part, I relished the chance to reach out to respected experts like affordable housing historian Alexander von Hoffman; inspiring innovators like Bleep creators Anand Damani and Mayur Tekchandaney or 3-D house printer Behrokh Khoshnevis; and urbanist crushes like Candy Chang to get their thoughts on some of the most interesting and important topics in the urban conversation today. Heck, I even got to indulge in a rare bit of reporting (and some professional flirting) in my own beloved hometown neighborhood.
Here at Lab | Log, it’s time to turn our attention to other things. But there is more fun with the 100 Urban Trends to be had in the Lab’s upcoming final exhibition, Participatory City: 100 Urban Trends from the BMW Guggenheim Lab, opening October 11 at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Be sure to stop by. Oh yeah, and printed versions of the glossaries, designed by the Lab’s delightful graphic designers, Sulki & Min, will be available at the museum gift shop for those of you who would like a tangible (and beautiful) Lab memento.