Jaun van Wyk is a young South African architect with a passion for the confluence of architecture, art and fashion. He finished his bachelors and honours degree in architecture with Cum Lauda from the University of the Free State after which he worked for various internationally commended architectural practices, galleries and architectural institutions in France, the Netherlands and the USA. Among these include internationally acclaimed Studio Odile Decq, Gallery Polaris, Gallery Oniris, Dus Architects and the Southern California Institute for Architecture. Locally he has worked with Johannesburg based architectural practice Daffonchio and Associates and innovative developers Propertuity, with particular focus on the urban development and transformation of the Maboneng Precinct in downtown Johannesburg.
Van Wyk is also a creative writer within the field of architecture, of which his most notable collaboration with Russian architect Inara Nevskaya was published in the 33rd issue of Volume. His article ‘Reconfiguring and reconstructing lost urban spaces through means of extrapolation’ was used as academic premise for the 2013 exhibition “Layers of Johannesburg”.
In his personal work and research Van Wyk aims to not alter architecture as such, but to reinstate his role as creative individual by undermining and exploding tedious positions and notions in the creative field of architecture. He argues that architecture today has become nothing more than a rigorous process, an attempt at the formulation of a precise design methodology where engineers, scientists and mathematicians are being seen as models to be emulated. Yet this functionalist view on architecture deprives it of evolution; whilst other art forms experiment and follow a radical development, architecture is expected to stay whole. Thus the architect needs to reclaim its profession as an art, and reinstate himself as an artist rather than the modern scientific methodist. For future design to truly stay inimitable, unique and cease to become monotonous it strongly relies on knowledge and critical notions of history, theory, criticism of architecture and urbanism, ecologies and economies of the built environment and the multimedia.