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Brief Published: 8 Apr 2013

BMW Guggenheim Lab: Public/Private


The BMW Guggenheim Lab, a six-year experiment travelling across nine cities worldwide with the aim of creating forward-thinking solutions for urban life, has launched Public/Private – an online game that explores the need for privacy in urban settings by examining where city dwellers seek privacy most often.

The game, which was designed by New York-based design studio Collective Assembly and British digital designer Tom van de Velde, asks users to pin a range of areas in which they seek privacy. It then produces a data visualisation comparing the user’s choices with those made by other users around the world.

The research project, developed by BMW Guggenheim Lab’s Mumbai venture, stresses the importance of responding to the meaning and characteristics of privacy through design.

“The BMW Guggenheim Lab’s programmes have encouraged people to take an active role in shaping their cities, but just as important may be the ability of city dwellers to find a sense of privacy within their urban environment. The privacy studies initiated by the Mumbai Lab sparked a reimagining of how we think about and use precious public space in cities, and now, with the launch of our new interactive feature, we can open up the conversation to many other cities around the world,” curator David van der Leer said in a statement.

For more on BMW Guggenheim Lab’s work to engage the public in a dialogue with urban life, see BMW Guggenheim Lab: New York.