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About us

KAPOK is a transdisciplinary design practice established by Claire Karsenty and Robert Slinger, dealing with questions of identity and orientation in the contemporary city. We operate within the fields of architecture and urban design and public art, our projects enabling people to re-read their built environment, provoking new, previously unimagined ways of using the spaces around them.

KAPOK is an office for architecture, urban planning and art in the urban context founded by Claire Karsenty and Robert Slinger in Berlin in 2003 and planning and realising projects in Germany, France and Great Britain.

KAPOK is concerned with questions of identity and orientation in the contemporary city and develops strategies that serve as catalysts for the appropriation of space. By redesigning space and changing the choreography of its use, we explore adaptability with the aim of achieving maximum impact through selective interventions. In addition to our architectural and urban development projects, we work across Europe in exhibition design and public art. We develop flexible, sustainable and multifunctional strategies for spaces of all scales. Kapok’s wide range of activities is made possible through constant collaboration with a network of landscape architects, photographers, graphic designers, engineers as well as visual artists.

KAPOK firmly believes that good solutions can only come about as a result of extensive dialogue with clients, users and all other stakeholders. In all aspects of our work, we believe in the success of participatory processes that create spaces that people see as their own.

KAPOK explores these issues in three areas of focus:

  • Temporary Installations (exhibitions, performance, urban art)
    An experimental laboratory for our ideas, we retune existing environments to provoke new readings, effecting the maximum transformation with the minimum intervention
  • Urban design
    Our large-scale design planning emphasises the relationship of programs in time and the refocussing of space through punctual intervention, to create new identities and urban networks.
  • The Domestic Realm
    In interior remodellings, innovative house types, and new housing districts, we explore the adaptability of domestic space to changing requirements.

Our medium is the composition of space and the choreography of use, articulated primarily on three levels:

  • Transmedial
    In development and realisation, our projects fuse architecture, graphics, light, image projection and film together to create a trans- and per- formative architecture.
  • Collaborative
    A collaborative network of specialists in landscaping, photography, graphics, engineering and the visual arts provide a diversity of perspective for our projects.
  • Participatory
    During development and execution, our projects engage inhabitants in a creative dialogue, to stimulate new ways of understanding their environment.