The practice is a collaborative, supportive, energetic and engaging studio. As our projects are often diverse in type, scale and budget, we strive to reflect that diversity in our staff and our collective experiences. We are professionals with backgrounds in the fine arts, graphic design, historic preservation and photography. We are African-American, French-Canadian, Mexican-American, Chinese-American and Belgian. We spend our free time engaging with, and supporting the community, traveling to new cities, raising families, exploring new landscapes, participating in physical activities (climbing, hockey, soccer, swimming, hiking), throwing clay, tasting new foods, and occasionally doing it all together, strengthening our team.
AIA, NOMA, LEED A.P.
Since establishing Y.A. studio in 2004, Yakuh Askew, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP, has fostered a collaborative and creative studio that is versatile, efficient and effective. A native of San Francisco, Yakuh is passionate about socially responsible growth and has fought to balance the needs of the community, the environment and individual clients.
Yakuh is a graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA and has traveled extensively. Prior to Y.A. studio Yakuh’s portfolio included large corporate offices, restaurant design, and single-family residential work.
Yakuh is a member of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), SPUR, AIA, and sits on the Citizen’s Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC) for the San Francisco School District. He is also an advisory member to the Lick-Wilmerding High School Campus Stewardship Committee. In 2015, Yakuh sat on the Jury for the Alburquerque AIA Awards, and in 2018 sat on the jury for the San Francisco Department of Public Works (SFDPW) Design Competition for public toilets and kiosks in San Francisco. He is also an avid ice hockey player.
An avid traveler and art lover, Martine finds comfort in nature, family time and good design. Born and raised in Montreal, she earned her a bachelors in Environmental Design at Université du Quebec a Montreal (UQAM) and a Masters in Architecture at the Technical University of Nova Scotia (TUNS). As a student, she focused on contemporary design, ergonomics, temporary structures and sustainability. After relocating to San Francisco in 1999, she joined Y.A. studio in 2008 and opened Martine Paquin Design, her interior design focused practice. She is a LEED AP and a CGBP believing that environmentally responsible design is a necessary component to healthy living.
Paul brings a wide breadth of experience and knowledge to Y.A studio with a familiarity of various project types including corporate interiors, wineries, restaurants, and both custom residential and multifamily housing. He has an understanding of all phases of a project from Programming and Master Planning through Construction Administration and his strength as a project manager ensures that projects come in on time and on budget. Paul speaks Mandarin Chinese and has a deep interest in Sino-American relations. He enjoys exploring cultures through their cities, food, and music.
AIA, LEED AP BD+C
David has over 20 years experience, primarily with technically challenging projects such as aquariums, hospitals, and laboratories, as well as multi-family and custom residential housing. David has been fortunate to have been involved in a number of projects from visualization and programming through construction administration. He brings a holistic approach to architecture, ensuring projects are thoughtfully designed, while also meeting schedule and budget. In his free time, David enjoys traveling and is also an active potter whose work has been exhibited nationally.
Born and raised in the East Bay and 20 + years in the industry, Matt is not just a California licensed architect, he has lived and breathed the urban landscape changes in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Matt received his Bachelor of Architecture from the California College of Art and Crafts and went on to work for a series of studios in the bay area that have led him to specialize in affordable and market rate multifamily, senior and special needs housing.
Matt continues to grow in the architecture community through his various roles and memberships over the years in volunteer run organizations. Outside of the studio, Matt expresses creativity and energy by being an avid walker, zine enthusiast, and photographer.
Karin is a native of the Chicago area who has also worked in New York and Paris. Her experience on projects range from towers and expo centers to attached housing and retail spaces. She has as diverse background in design, and in addition to architecture, has worked as a product designer and a researcher in emerging materials. Karin holds an M.Arch from Columbia University and a B.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Natalie is a Bay Area native with a Bachelors of Architecture degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. While in school, she won second place in a national competition with a group designing a zero-net energy apartment building. During her time at YA studio, she has helped design the first phase of Hope SF’s Rebuild Potrero project. Outside of work she likes to rock climb, do crosswords, and stare at the Rothko in MOMA for too long.
Manon graduated from the UCL, Brussels where she completed a master’s degree in historic preservation and sustainable design. She worked then in India and Belgium. Beyond her professional experience, she likes to discover new lifestyles and thrilling environments. She seeks to create spaces that respond to the environment and people’s needs while reaching the perfect balance between functionality, sustainability, and aesthetics. Manon is fluent in French and spends her weekends discovering San Francisco and its surroundings.
Sherry was born and raised in Shanghai, China. She has a Masters of Architecture from University of Houston and a Bachelors of Architecture degree from Shanghai University in China. Sherry has lived and worked in Shanghai, Houston, Seattle, and recently moved to Bay Area. Her experience on projects range from health care, education and commercial to mix-use projects. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading and cooking
Originally from Tijuana, Mexico, her interest in architecture sparked from the eclecticism of her border city. Mariana holds a B.Arch from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She is fluent in Spanish and has studied French, Japanese, and German. At Y.A. Studio, Mariana has contributed on small residential and commercial projects as well as large affordable housing, able to focus on multiple projects and tasks simultaneously. She spends her free time exploring San Francisco and its surroundings, swimming, playing soccer, and studying for the AREs.
Katherine holds a B.Arch. from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where her passion for fabrication and material innovation emerged. While studying, Katherine worked at the College of Architecture and Environmental Design Support Shop and collaborated with various experimental studios across California. Her passion for architecture stems from her love of art coupled with phenomenology to encourage innovative solutions. Prior to studying architecture, Katherine experimented with various art media and is a ceramics enthusiast.
Uzoma (Uzi) was born in Delta State, Nigeria and holds a Master of Architecture degree from Syracuse University. He earned his Bachelor in Art History/Studio Art from Colgate University while playing on a football scholarship. At Syracuse, he received the Creative Works Grant for research on the work of Demas Nwoko & The Zaria Rebels in post-colonial Nigeria. Outside the studio, Uzi spends his free time reading, collecting comics, and playing his guitar.
OFFICE MANAGER / EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT
Originally from Arizona, Asia came to the studio by way of the real estate development field eager to focus on the finer details of built environment. She holds two Bachelor of Science degrees in Public Relations and Merchandising from Northern Arizona University, and continues to take art classes periodically to satiate her hunger for learning and creativity. When she’s not in the studio, she’s volunteering with a nonpartisan political organization, hiking around the Bay Area with her two dogs, reading, or attending concerts.
‘Kit’ Yongyut Kitkrongpaiboon
Originally from Thailand, Kit moved to Hawaii for education and beaches. With the persisting tropical temptations, being a student in Hawaii wasn’t always easy but he managed to graduate in business administration and accounting. After Hawaii, Kit settled down in the beautiful central coast town of San Luis Obispo for several years before moving to San Francisco. After many years working in accounting/CPA firms along with some other industries in finance, Kit become an independent bookkeeper. In February 2015, Kit joined the YA Studio team assisting in the growth and business development of the studio. By embracing and understanding that his left brain is numeric and his right artsy, Kit keeps his life well-balanced just like his client’s books.
Jennifer moved to San Francisco from Washington, DC and has worked in SF as a full charge bookkeeper for over 20 years. She has served a diverse range of clients from restaurants and nonprofits to architectural firms and graphic designers. When she is not working for her clients, she is volunteering at her children’s school as the treasurer of the parent teacher organization.
Priti Maya Pai
Jae E. Jung