GRAFT is a design studio based in Los Angeles and Berlin working in the fields of architecture, urban planning, exhibition design and music. Graft was founded in 1998 in Los Angeles, California by Lars Kruckeberg, Wolfram Putz and Thomas Willemeit. The Los Angeles office is headed by partner Alejandra Lillo since 2007. A second office was opened 2001 in Berlin, followed by a third office in Beijing in 2004 headed by founding partner Gregor Hoheisel.
The studio name "Graft" is understood as a programmatic statement. The English word 'graft' has a variety of meanings. It stands for transplants in the field of medicine, for cheating, 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 a new biological hybrid.
Using the example of botany as a point of departure, GRAFT understands it as a phenomenon of human culture and examines its implications for architecture. Espousing the belief that we live in an age where the displacement of an individual's identity from their original physical context forces the continual formation of new identities by dynamically engaging with local and global environments, GRAFT takes the position that the traditional boundaries of architecture must be increasingly questioned, through investigating, for instance, notions of identity and mutability. As a matter of practice, interdisciplinary methods and techniques expand the quest for meaning and enrichment; therefore, GRAFT's research typically spans a wide variety of different sources, including high and low culture, the banal, architecture, cinema, literature, sports.
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