Kurt went to work for TIME Magazine in 1981 and wrote about politics, criminal justice, and culture. Around 1985, he became the magazine’s architecture and design critic – and although he left the magazine in 1986 to co-found Spy, he stayed in the architecture-and-design slot as a contributor through 1992. And in 1993 he returned to TIME for one year to write a column called “Spectator,” as well as some cover stories.
Not counting his third-grade Thanksgiving essay on God and oxygen and freedom that the Omaha World-Herald printed, his first published, paid article was for The New York Times’ Travel section, about a cross-country hitchhiking trip, at age 17. Since then he's written more for the Times—Op-Eds, reviews, and essays for the Sunday Book Review, pieces for the Magazine.
During the late 90s, he was a staff writer for The New Yorker, where he contributed a regular column called “The Culture Industry” as well as longer pieces.
In addition, Kurt has written for Architectural Record, The Atlantic Monthly, Metropolis, Rolling Stone and Slate, among other publications.