Karsten was born in Chile and grew up in Germany where he also graduated with a Diploma in Architecture from the Technische Universität in Darmstadt. He is a qualified architect and joiner. Since graduating Karsten has been a partner of the OSA, Office for Subversive Architecture, a network for spatial experimentation which is dedicated to push the boundaries of common practice in architecture and develop projects that sit between art and architecture.
In 2001 Karsten moved to London where he worked as an architect at Foster and Partners. Since 2001 Karsten and his colleague Bernd Truempler worked as the UK based branch of OSA and have consistently created spatial works of local and international significance. After winning an award at UK’s prestigious Young Architects of the Year Award (YAYA) they set up their practice KHBT which operates from London and Berlin.
Before joining BI as Professor for Architecture and Construction Karsten was a Senior Lecturer at Manchester School of Architecture and an Associate Professor at the ESA, Ecole Special d’Architecture in Paris.
He has been invited to lecture internationally including the Royal Academy of Art in London, the Museum for Modern Art in Warsaw, the British Council in Moscow, the Goethe Institute in New York City and the European Cultural Capital Guimarães.