Architecture and Activism: an exhibition celebrating GRAFT’s 25th birthday


Berlin, Germany,


Aedes Architecture Forum in Berlin celebrates GRAFT’s 25th birthday with an exhibition opening today and continuing until 5 December entitled "Taste Is the Lack of Appetite". The title, quoting well-known art critic Dave Hickey, highlights the studio’s desire to go beyond the conventional boundaries of architecture and have a positive impact on society.

Architecture and Activism: an exhibition celebrating GRAFT’s 25th birthday

Considering architecture’s potential impact on people’s lives and the environment around them is the key to GRAFT’s design philosophy. Since its foundation in Los Angeles in 1998, GRAFT has demonstrated in its architectural projects a growing awareness of how the built environment can and must make a significant contribution to people’s happiness and quality of life. The studio does not merely create emblematic spaces and forms, but makes activism a key to its way of working. This social commitment has emerged in a number of initiatives, including the studio’s involvement in the "Make It Right Foundation" for the reconstruction of New Orleans in the wake of the devastation of hurricane Katrina.

GRAFT’s approach to architecture is based on optimism and experimentation. The studio views the design process as characterised by tireless curiosity and the pleasure of discovering and exploring new solutions. This modus operandi has led to the implementation of hybrid solutions in a vast range of projects, and is the key concept behind the exhibition “Taste Is the Lack of Appetite - Hybrid Approaches to Architecture”, continuing until 5 December in Berlin.
The exhibition presents a selection of residential, mixed-use and cultural buildings ideally representing GRAFT’s exemplary design strategies. "Taste Is the Lack of Appetite" also includes projects that are currently under way and one that was never built, the Jewish Museum in Moscow, for which GRAFT placed first in an international competition.

The exhibition also addresses the issue of activism in Architecture, as GRAFT views architecture as a powerful tool for addressing global challenges and helping to build a better society.

In this context, one of the studio’s most significant initiatives is the creation of Solarkiosks supplying clean energy, connectivity and communication in remote areas in Africa and Asia to improve the lives of people in local communities.
In a world of ongoing crises, GRAFT sees a need to act, demonstrating that architecture can be a force for positive change in society. The exhibition title “Taste Is the Lack of Appetite” underlines the importance of addressing challenges with curiosity and passion, without preconceived ideas, because the words of Dave Hickey, art critic and friend of the firm, mean that insistence on principles of taste is inferior to an appetite arising out of curiosity, especially in creative work.

(Agnese Bifulco)

Images courtesy of GRAFT and Aedes Architecture Forum

Exhibition Title
Hybrid Approaches to Architecture
25 Years of GRAFT

Exhibition Date: 28 October – 5 December 2023
Opening: Friday, 27 October 2023, 6:30pm
Venue: Aedes Architecture Forum Christinenstr. 18-19 10119 Berlin www.aedes-arc.de

Public Debates
The exhibition will be accompanied by two discussion events reflecting GRAFT’s hybrid approach to architecture:
15 November 2023, 6:30pm: Taste Is the Lack of Appetite
24 November 2023, 6:30pm: Architecture in Times of Need


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