Kurt Kohlstedt is author, editor and founder of a series of digital magazines, including WebUrbanist, a publication about architecture and design; he is also digital director and a web producer for 99% Invisible, the best radio show and podcast in the world. He writes on topics including design, architecture, urbanism and infrastructure.
Kurt was the keynote speaker for the Highlands & Islands Awards for Architecture ceremony of the Inverness Architectural Association, and has spoken at events hosted by organizations including the American Institute of Architects (Postcard Identities & Esoteric Landmarks) and CoCo Minneapolis (Content Strategy for Non-Marketers). He was a finalist for a WeMedia PitchIt award for the non-profit startup Donateer, named an inspirational green advocate by Martha Stewart Magazine and has received additional praise for WebUrbanist from The Guardian. Various other interviews can also be found around the web.
Kurt attended Carleton College and received a BA in Philosophy before spending a few years in occupations related to residential design and construction. He worked with a small local architecture firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota, followed by an apprenticeship at a graphic and industrial design agency in Bayreuth, Germany, all before diving into freelance construction and carpentry projects in Seattle, Washington. He eventually began and completed a graduate degree (Master of Architecture) at the University of Washington, Seattle, with a design solution for the underside of the Spokane Street Viaduct incorporating nomadic urbanism, adaptive reuse, portable cargo container architecture and modular design solutions.
Upon completion (or, more accurately: during procrastination) of his final thesis project for the MArch program in Seattle, Kurt started to write online content about urban art, design and visual culture. Before long, WebUrbanist became a full-time (pre)occupation. Next came WebEcoist (sibling site to WebUrbanist), followed by Dornob and Gajitz. A few of these publications have since been sold to larger publishing companies including Evolve Media and Internet Brands.
Kurt was born in Upstate New York, grew up in the Twin Cities of Minnesota (with brief periods living in Germany and Australia) and resided for a number of years in semi-sunless (but beautiful) Seattle. He currently resides in Oakland, California, but is a part-time digital nomad, enjoying the mixed bag of challenges and benefits that come from being an independent writer, publisher and entrepreneur. His various web publications are produced with the help of a a small network of creative authors and talented coders that also spans the globe.
Recent live/work trips have taken Kurt to Beijing, Hong Kong, Chicago and New York City; longer and more recent extended live/work stays have included San Diego, Seattle and San Francisco. Amsterdam and Berlin remain targets on the horizon as well. Kurt is enamored with the coworking movement and the get-it-done aspects of startup culture and can regularly be found and related venues (e.g. CoCo Minneapolis) and events (e.g. Demo Days).