Vale Kirsten Kiser – founder of arcspace

by | 24. Oct 2017

Article


Kirsten Kiser – a great Dane, an architecture entrepreneur and the founder of arcspace.com has passed away.

It is with great regret that I have just received the sad news from the close family of Kirsten Kiser, that Kirsten passed away Friday October the 20th.

Kirsten Kiser – Kiki among friends – was the ever engaged and tireless front-runner of modern communication, exposure and dissemination of contemporary international architects and their works. As one of the first to do so, Kirsten realized the new power of communicating the artistic and societal value of architecture already in the early 1970’s when the Architecture business was still dominated by a hermetic practice living a secluded life of its own. She was the first to open an architecture gallery in LA presenting the drawings of architects as art works and as well as investments. Thanks to Kirsten’s enormous will power and deep engagement in architecture, hundreds of architects and tenfolds of their works were exhibited and presented through a variety of medias such as museums, galleries, magazines, newspapers, websites, webzines, and social media, in which she wrote thousands of articles on architecture, book reviews and travel guides.

Kirsten was a Scandinavian beauty in her own right with an impeccable appearance and obvious star quality. But it was with her deep insight into architecture and a lovable, sweet, and hyper generous personality that she really won the hearts and confidence of so many great international architects who invited her, not only into their studios and offices, but also into their creative circles and thereby their fresh works. Kirsten was an aesthete and had an obvious eye for the new and the groundbreaking. Thus, she was quite often the first to realize when an important new piece of architecture was coming into the world – and she never missed the opportunity to break a great story!

As Kirsten and I worked together for 10 years where she researched and curated exhibitions for The Danish Architecture Centre (DAC) and promoted our activities among many other things I enjoyed the inspiring privilege of both working with Kirsten and becoming her friend – she always was incredibly generous!

In 1999 Kirsten founded arcspace.com as an architecture webzine before the concept of architecture websites were really invented. With a few good people around her she got hooked on what was to become one of her great contributions and her legacy to the contemporary dissemination of architects and their architecture. Arcspace.com features the most creative contemporary projects, as well as the most influential of the past. Arcspace became a world leading architecture webzine of the new millennium with millions of annual readers and a strong global community of architects . For more than 13 years Kirsten worked closely with major architects around the world, researching, curating and writing most content herself, keeping her readers informed with weekly updates from whatever global city she went through. After tirelessly being at the helm of arcspace.com for more than 13 years Kirsten asked me to have DAC take over the publishing role of arcspace.com for the safe development of her legacy. Her generosity was formidable. We owe her many thanks and the DAC is honored by her confidence.

Kirsten shared her life between native Denmark where her close relatives in Copenhagen were her emotional harbor, and the USA where LA offered her a preferred gentle climate and an international community. Her little contact book was legendary and opened up doors to world famous architects and photographers such as Frank Gehry, Julius Schulman, and Helmut and June Newton – all friends of Kirsten.

Kirsten travelled the world in an ever changing capacity of architect, curator, writer and critic – she was a nomad for herself and a muse for many great architects.

Those of us who had the privilege of  knowing Kirsten will forever miss her inspiring focused mentality and her sweet loveable spirit.  

Thanks for everything  –  RIP!

Kent Martinussen

Architect
CEO Danish Architecture Center

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