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​ArkDes leadership in crisis

Pressmeddelande   •   Feb 27, 2019 09:50 CET

ArkDes, Photo: Patrcik Miller

Cronyism, copyright infringement and a hierarchical leadership causing employees to resign. Those are only some of the harsh accusations directed at Kieran Long, head of the government agency ArkDes, in an investigative report featured in the coming issue of Form Magazine. Long argues that the museum previously lacked talent and that he "is here to lead".

It has been nearly two years since British curator Kieran Long was recruited as the new director of ArkDes, formerly Arkitekturmuseum. His was a long anticipated appointment, as the institution had been plagued by financial and management problems for many years. Temporary director Kerstin Brunnberg managed to create a better working environment, but the museum needed a leader with proven expertise in the area – and Long, who previously worked at the V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum) in London seemed to possess all the right qualifications.

However, old conflicts are once again bubbling to the surface. In an investigative report by journalist Leonidas Aretakis, Long is accused of firing former employees while cultivating a hierarchical form of leadership where temper tantrums and verbal rebukes are a daily occurrence. "Idiotic", "sociopathic control", "horribly unprofessional", "repressive" and "mean" are some of the terms used by former and current employees to describe the situation at their place of work.

Long argues that he has been forced to quickly make major changes to raise the level of work: "When I arrived there was a lack of ideas. And I would also say, if it’s not to be too brutal, there was a lack of talent here."

In the article, Long is also accused of copyright infringement in connection with last year's architecture biennial in Venice, where he was invited as the new director of ArkDes. But what was not made clear in the catalogue or any communication regarding the exhibition was that all new works were in fact designed by architect Petra Gipp and photographer Mikael Olsson – who are both currently considering legal action.

Read the article on Form's website

The article will be published in Form 2/2019, released on April 9th.

For more info contact: 
Bo Madestrand, editor-in-chief Form Magazine, +46 70-716 41 76

For press images contact:
Emma Olofsson, communication & PR, +46 8-463 31 48

Svensk Form är en ideell oberoende medlemsförening för privatpersoner, företag och yrkesverksamma inom form, design och arkitektur. Föreningen grundades 1845 som Svenska Slöjdföreningen och har sedan dess främjat design i Sverige och utomlands. Svensk Form ger ut tidningen Form sedan 1905.

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