Oct 28–Dec 5, 2023

Taste Is the Lack of Appetite - Hybrid Approaches to Architecture

25 Years of GRAFT
Christinenstrasse 18-19, 10119 Berlin
Tue-Fri 11 am–6:30 pm, Sun-Mon 1–5 pm

Taste Is the Lack of Appetite is an exhibition on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of GRAFT and celebrates the curiosity for the special, the unique, and the unexpected. The internationally active architecture firm is known not only for individual forms and design, but also for its social engagement. For the team, the design practice is defined by optimism and a pleasure in experimentation – leading to the realisation of hybrid solutions for a wide range of challenges. The exhibition features a selection of residential, mixed-use and cultural buildings, each of which reflects the firm’s exemplary design strategies. In line with its multifaceted work, the show also sheds light on the topic of Architecture Activism and presents a prototype of the communitybuilding Solarkiosk.

Since its establishment in Los Angeles in 1998, GRAFT has become increasingly aware that the built environment can and must make a significant contribution to people’s happiness and quality of life. In light of the ongoing crises in the world, until today, the partners of GRAFT, Sven Fuchs, Lars Krückeberg, Wolfram Putz, Georg Schmidthals, and Thomas Willemeit, see themselves called upon to take action.

Being involved in the ‘Make It Right Foundation’, which accompanied the rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, gave them the start in 2006. GRAFT continued its engagement with its work for foundations and the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (Credit Institute for Reconstruction, KfW), followed by the founding of the Solarkiosk company in cooperation with Andreas Spieß in 2010. Today, over 200 Solarkiosks are improving equity in the provision of services in the sectors of energy and health in eleven countries in Africa and Asia. The fact that solutions for both urban and rural surroundings can only be achieved through cooperation, was also shown by the exhibition curated by GRAFT and Marianne Birthler for the German Pavilion at the Architecture Biennial in Venice in 2018: Unbuilding Walls was dedicated to the constructed and societal overcoming of divisions on the former inner-German border strip between East and West.

‘Taste is the lack of appetite’, Dave Hickey, art critic and friend of the firm once said, expressing that, especially in creative work, the insistence on principles of taste is inferior to an appetite arising born of curiosity.This sentence has become a guideline for GRAFT’s work, since especially at a time of crises, the team strives to confront challenges with curiosity and passion, an open spirit, and without the preconceived canon of a specific architectural language. Even under difficult conditions, what interests GRAFT is sounding out the open spaces of the experimental and the creative and unflinchingly posing questions: regarding the quality and beauty of architecture, regarding the value of intelligent solutions, and regarding heterogeneity and the importance of innovation.

The Exhibition

Taste Is the Lack of Appetite presents GRAFT projects that have already been realised as well as ones still under construction, along with one important unrealised design – for which the firm was awarded first prize in the international competition for the Jewish Museum in Moscow. All the projects feature an aspect that would be unexpected and radical in the given context and propels the narrative of the respective building task. The first room of the exhibition is dedicated to the Solarkiosk, which, as a contemporarily designed intervention in remote regions of Africa, ensures a supply of energy, connectivity, and communication by means of clean solar energy and a sustainable, post-colonial social model. In the second room of the exhibition, six different buildings are presented in an exemplary way, reduced to their core message, by means of large-format models. The projects – new buildings and revitalisations in the historical context – are concrete results of the abstract design strategies of Lofting, Tracing, Voxelization, Sectioning, Weaving and Carving.

October 27, 2023, 6:30 p.m

Dr. h.c. Kristin Feireiss Aedes, Berlin
Michael Biel State Secretary in the Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Enterprises
Jette Cathrin Hopp Director, Snøhetta, Oslo
GRAFT Partner Berlin

November 24th, 2023, 6:30 p.m
Welcome & Introduction:
Christine Meierhofer (Aedes), Wolfram Putz (GRAFT)

Michael Braungart C2C
Andrea Hofmann room laboratory
Lars Krückeberg GRAFT
Thomas Willemeit GRAFT

Andreas Tölke Be an Angel e.V., Berlin