Retail brand presence for Mercedes-Benz
© Hiepler Brunier
GRAFT was established in 1998 in Los Angeles, California, by Lars Krückeberg, Wolfram Putz and Thomas Willemeit. Further offices followed in Berlin, Germany, in 2001 and Beijing, China, in 2004. In 2018, GRAFT expanded its management team, welcoming Sven Fuchs and Georg Schmidthals as new partners.
GRAFT is conceived as a studio for architecture, urban planning, design, music and the pursuit of happiness. Since its establishment, it has been commissioned to design and manage a wide range of projects across multiple disciplines and in numerous locations. Although the company’s core enterprises gravitate around the field of architecture and the built environment, GRAFT has always maintained an interest in crossing the boundaries between disciplines and “grafting” the creative potential and methodologies of different realities. This is reflected in its expansion into the fields of exhibition and product design, art installations and academic projects, as well as in their variety of project locations around the world. GRAFT’s collective professional experience encompasses a wide range of building types, including residential, cultural, educational, institutional, commercial, master plan and healthcare projects. GRAFT has won numerous international awards, and now numbers some 100 members of staff from over 20 nations.
Lars Krückeberg, Wolfram Putz and Thomas Willemeit have held several guest professorships in the USA and Germany and are members of the expert team of the Zukunftsinstitut think tank.
In 2007, together with Brad Pitt, Bill McDonough and the Cherokee Foundation, GRAFT established the Make It Right Foundation, whose objective was the rebuilding of New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward after Hurricane Katrina.
GRAFT’s self-initiated projects also include SOLARKIOSK, a company founded with the German lawyer Andreas Spieß in 2009 to bring clean energy, connectivity and solar products to rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa. And, in 2015, GRAFT co-founded Heimat2 with H. W. Pausch, Sven Rawe and Dr. Gerd Ellinghaus, which aims to bring dignified housing solutions to refugees in Europe.
In 2014, in collaboration with branding expert Linda Stannieder, GRAFT’s founding partners set up the GRAFT Brandlab agency, enabling an additional focus on communication design, brand strategy and consultancy while staying true to GRAFT’s multidisciplinary approach and working methods. Through progressive brand innovation concepts and a multidimensional approach, the agency places greater focus on enriching the interface between digital and physical brand experiences within constantly evolving markets and cultures. Today, the agency is led by Nikolaus Hafermaas and Rico Zocher.