Project type: Exhibition
Location: Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne & Stuttgart, Germany
Photos Berlin: Tobias Hein
Photos Hamburg: Nora Zerelli, GRAFT
Photos Munich, Cologne, Stuttgart: GRAFT
Architecture must improve our lives, not just fulfil functional or aesthetic requirements. In the search for quality and beauty, complex form and ambiguity are part of the essence of an architecture that goes beyond what is ‘patent’ and ‘correct’.
“Distinct Ambiguity” presents GRAFT’S extensive oeuvre of work and offers insight into their strategy of ‘grafting’, of associating and connecting aspects that are otherwise typically seen as being independent or even irreconcilable. After the inaugural show at Berlin’s ‘Haus am Waldsee’, the exhibition was shown at the ArchitekturSalons of AIT in Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, and Stuttgart.
In their conception and evaluation of artistic structures, the architects at GRAFT do not adhere to the universally applicable dogmas of a prevailing monoculture. Instead, they choose to experiment with seemingly contradictory ideas and develop exciting and innovative projects in all domains of design. As a result, they create the unexpected, reveal surprising misunderstandings, effect the global transfer of spatial qualities and produce robust crossbreeds – propagating an architecture that is derived from its circumstances, and made possible only by grafting together different realities. Their approach resolves the seemingly ambiguous or even contradictory in a distinct way.
The English word ‘graft’ evokes a variety of meanings and multiple readings. It stands for transplants in the field of medicine, but also for hard work. In the terminology of botany, grafting is described as the addition of one shoot onto a genetically different host. The positive properties of two genetically different cultures are combined in the new biological hybrid. For more than 18 years, Lars Krückeberg, Wolfram Putz, and Thomas Willemeit have been developing complex methods of fusion that have contributed essential impulses to the contemporary debates on design. With offices in Berlin, Los Angeles, and Beijing, GRAFT operates and builds internationally. Founded 1998 in Los Angeles, California, GRAFT now numbers 90 employees (2011).
The exhibition is as much an introduction to the thoughts and inspirations of the firm as it is an inventory of extraordinary and innovative concepts. The projects on show are arranged in themes such as Curiosity, Happiness and Courage, meanings that can arise in the most unexpected of contexts. At the AIT Architektursalon sources of inspiration, plans, concept designs and physical models of buildings and projects are shown that span a wide range of projects from zero-energy houses in Malaysia to the prototype of a Solarkiosk for Africa.
Covering not only architecture, but all kinds of design, the exhibition offers a look at the work of one of the most innovative and cutting-edge architectural studios in Germany. Those curious to know why the principle of sustainability really is at the core of happiness will find the answer at one of the exhibition locations or in the exhibition catalogue.
A catalogue entitled “Distinct Ambiguity” was published by Gestalten Verlag to accompany the exhibition and is the first book to present GRAFT’s comprehensive body of work. The exhibition was presented in Berlin by ‘Haus am Waldsee’ (23.11.2011 – 12.02.2012).