President & Design Director, NORR
Yahya Jan believes that Great Design, done right, can solve many of humanity’s problems. For this to happen, he believes that our efforts must always be inclusive, inviting opinions in an open-minded search of possibilities. An exploration where owners, users and designers fully participate in the process. Yahya sees design as a patient search – equal parts analytical and intuitive. A creative process that challenges us to combine our understanding of Life, of Science, and of Art. And where these aspects overlap, he believes First Principle thinking can reveal solutions that stretch our understanding of reality. For Yahya, all of this requires a passion for perfection – tempered by humility and the appreciation of Beauty in the Imperfect.
Yahya is President & Design Director at NORR. With over 30 years of global experience, from Dubai he leads the design efforts of the group’s operations in the Middle East and Asia. Yahya undertook his undergraduate and graduate studies in the US, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Structural Engineering and a Master’s degree in Architecture, both at Princeton University. A licensed architect in New York, Yahya worked for 8 years in New York and Boston, before moving to Dubai in 1996. Since then, Yahya has played a lead design role on many projects, bringing to life visionary developments throughout the region, including signature office, residential and hotel towers, and retail malls.
A prolific architect, Yahya believes in the ability of integrated design to transform the built environment. Central to his design philosophy is a multi-disciplinary approach that includes owners, architects, structural & environmental engineers, and others, working collaboratively to unlock hidden potential. An advocate for research and design collaboration, Yahya believes that a key challenge in the continuing evolution of our cities is the need to question conventional wisdom. A winner of numerous international awards, Yahya’s design and research is featured at conferences and in leading publications worldwide