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In 2020, GRAFT and Marianne Birthler will be awarding a second round of two travel grants to fund study or project trips that deal with the topic of climate change and its consequences for the built environment.

Man-made climate change confronts us with a multitude of conflicts and dangers that challenge and question our way of life as individuals and in society. As architects, we bear particular responsibility for drastically reducing CO2 emissions in the construction industry, which currently account for 40 percent of all CO2 emissions.

We need to rethink planning and construction practice in such a way that it no longer contributes to dangerously spiralling global warming and at the same time addresses new spatial requirements. In the awareness that this is a global problem, the travel grants aim to support projects that act across national borders to find solutions to phenomena caused by climate change.

Objective

The GRAFT Travel Grant 2020 aims to support work that will deal with built, physical or even strategic interventions aimed at overcoming global warming or its consequences. These can be of a planning, artistic or political nature. Inspired by the 2018 exhibition “UNBUILDING WALLS” at the 16th Architecture Biennale in Venice, such works can also deal with current debates on nations, protectionism and division, for example with regard to migration patterns arising from climate change, or with associated aspects of climate justice.

Other potential funding topics include analyses of or responses to extreme weather events, rising sea levels, melting glaciers, the protection of flora and fauna, or material and energy innovations at different scales. These may have an urban planning, architectural, political or social focus.

Research work conducted as part of such projects should have a transformative artistic or creative aspect, i.e. be more than merely documentary. These transformation processes can be presented in the form of models, designs, media installations, animations, photographic works or other similar formats. Applicants should specify the medium they intend to use as part of their project in the application.

Reflecting the spirit of collaboration between the politician Marianne Birthler and GRAFT architecture office, the grant is aimed particularly at applicants who address not only the topic outlined above but also its means of implementation from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Especially welcome are collaborative projects that consider their topic in a broader socio-political context and bring together different approaches, backgrounds and strategies to leverage their full potential. Preference will be given to projects that are themselves climate-conscious in their approach, use of materials and means of mobility.

Eligibility

  • Bachelor, master’s or diploma students around the world,
  • Master’s and diploma graduates who have completed their studies within the last two years
  • Doctoral students
  • Group applications are permissible providing all members of the group meet the conditions for participation. The grant funding of 3000 € is independent of the number of participants.

Submission

  • Application form, completed and signed (group applications: supply a separate form for each member of the group)
  • Certificate detailing enrolment as a student or doctoral student / diploma, bachelor, or master’s degree certificate or comparable document (group applications: supply certificates for each member of the group)
  • Curriculum Vitae, max. 1 page (group applications: supply a CV for each member of the group)
  • Portfolio of past work, max. 8 A4 pages, 10 MB (group applications: supply portfolios for all members of the group)
  • Presentation of the concept/idea and the media format of the proposed result in the form of a short written description (max. 1 page) and sketch.
  • Plan of proposed travel requirements
  • Approximate breakdown of the project budget and proposed use of grant funding

Applicants should submit their concept idea and proposed use of grant funding in a form of their choosing in writing and digitally (pdf). Submissions should be written in English using metric units. Each application should cover a single project only.

Awarding of the Grant

The selection committee, comprising the politician Marianne Birthler (former Federal Commissioner for the Records of the State Security Service of the former German Democratic Republic), Peter Cachola Schmal, director of the Deutsche Architekturmuseum, and the three founding partners of GRAFT architecture office, Lars Krückeberg, Wolfram Putz and Thomas Willemeit, will decide jointly on the awarding of the grant based on the documents submitted by the applicants.

Grant funding will be paid in two instalments: 50% after the awarding of the grant and 50% on completion of the project.

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