Jan grew up in Ulm, Germany. He attended Stuttgart University's architecture school, and graduated from the State Academy of Art & Design Stuttgart in Communication Design. He moved to New York in late 2000 to start karlssonwilker, a design studio, together with Icelander Hjalti Karlsson. They work on all sorts of projects for an eclectic mix of cultural and commercial clients. Their work has appeared in more than one design publication, and they have received less than one thousand awards. Jan has taught at Cooper Union, SVA, and Parsons. He frequently lectures and holds design workshops around the world.