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Falling in love with architecture

Hazel Meda
March23/ 2012

In addition to their architecture studies at Wits University, Tarryn Michael and Yolandé Kluth run a company called Environment Experiment. They use recycled materials in their projects.

The two fell in love with architecture at an early age.

Tarryn says: “I’ve had an interest in architecture since I was a little girl, when I was still playing with Barbies. I would try to draw up the perfect Barbie home. I would make little models. They weren’t to scale or very accurate, but it was fun. I would make Barbie houses, Barbie swimming pools and Barbie gardens, out of cereal boxes. It wasn’t very good, but it was a start.”

Her father was instrumental in the development of her interest in the field. 

“When he learned I was interested in architecture, he would always point out beautiful houses and buildings along the road.”

She mentioned her art teacher at Redham House in Bedfordview as another person who encouraged her.

Yolandé first became interested in architecture in Grade 9 when she had to build a model of a holiday home for a project at Afrikaanse Hoër Meisiesskool in Pretoria.

However, she believes that her creativity is innate.

“My creativity comes from my mum. When she was younger, she also wanted to study architecture. But in those days, in her family…coming from a conservative Afrikaans family…it wasn’t really a woman’s job. Her brothers and sister and everyone advised her against it, so she became a teacher. I think that’s influenced me a lot.”