Yo Hakomori, Architect, PHD, AIA, NCARB

Los Angeles

Born in Sendai, Japan, Yo moved to the United States, where he was raised in Boston, Massachusetts and Seattle, Washington. After receiving an undergraduate degree in biology and chemistry, Yo traveled and cycled throughout Europe for 3 months. After seeing and experiencing the power of urban space and architecture for the first time in such places as Rome, Paris, Barcelona and Madrid, Yo was inspired to study architecture.

Yo received his Master of Architecture from the Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of California Los Angeles. After earning a scholarship for post-graduate study at the University of Tokyo, Yo earned his Doctor of Engineering in Architecture.

He has worked for several notable architects throughout his career, including Koning Eizenberg Architecture, DeBretteville and Polyzoides, and Franklin D. Israel Design Associates.

In 2004 Yo founded wHY Architecture along with Kulapat Yantrasast.  In 2007, they completed the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the first LEED gold certified museum in the world.  Since then, wHY Architecture has received numerous commissions for other art related projects throughout the country including the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky; the Tyler Museum of Art in Tyler, Texas; gallery/exhibit design at the Harvard Art Museums in Cambridge, Massachusetts and at the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois.

He was also principal architect for the Pomona College Studio Art Hall in Claremont, CA, the Interpretive Green Bridge (Art Bridge) at the Great Wall of Los Angeles, and a number of single-family residences in Los Angeles and Thailand.

Yo has taught at University of Tokyo, Meiji University, Cal Poly Pomona College of Environmental Design, was a visiting adjunct professor at the School of Architecture and Allied Arts at the University of Oregon, and is currently Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Southern California School of Architecture.

As a design principal at DesignARC, Yo utilizes his expertise and passion for art related projects, knowledge of single and multi-family residential design, and interest in urban design and landscape design to further the growth of DesignARC’s portfolio of work.


University of California Los Angeles, Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Design,
Master of Architecture

University of Tokyo, Department of Engineering
Doctor of Engineering in Architecture

Professional Affiliates

American Institute of Architects, Member


University of Southern California, School of Architecture

Adjunct Associate Professor