Architect Yostina Yacoub: Designing a Visionary Future

Yostina Yacoub

In the dynamic world of architecture, Yostina Yacoub stands out as a force to be reckoned with. Her journey from a teenage love for design to becoming a Fulbright scholar and an innovative architect is marked by creativity and passion. Yacoub is a trailblazing architect known for her visionary designs and for reshaping the urban landscape one building at a time.

A Creative Calling

“I always knew I wanted to do something related to design” Yacoub reminisces. She reflects on her journey into architecture, attributing the decision to a love for design, art, and science. At seventeen, Yacoub believed architecture was the perfect intersection of her passions, setting the foundation for her remarkable career. She explained, “I love art and I love science and the only thing my seventeen year old self thought involved all of these things was architecture.”

The Creative Process

Yacoub’s creative process is as diverse as her portfolio. Each project presents a unique challenge that excites her. Her role as an architect involves blending various elements, from settings and budgets to requirements and scales, into a vision that exceeds clients’ expectations. Yacoub’s passion lies in crafting sculptural and artistic architecture that captivates and invites people to marvel. She reflected on her creative process, “Every project presents a unique challenge, and that’s where the excitement lies. From settings to budgets, requirements to scales, my role as an architect is to blend these elements into a vision that exceeds my clients’ expectations.”

Art and architecture that exude heartfelt effort and intricate detailing inspire Yacoub. The talented architect says, “I am most passionate about projects where I can unleash my creative judgement, crafting sculptural and artistic architecture that invites people to take a second glance and truly marvel. It is these projects that fuel my passion and drive for innovation in every aspect of my work.”

She finds inspiration in art and architecture that she feels like the artist pours their heart into. Yacoub exemplified, “Like intricately designed Renaissance cathedrals and libraries where every tiny detail, from door knobs to pillars, tell a story of careful planning and heartfelt effort.”. She is also inspired by the challenge of translating cultural, religious, and historical narratives into tangible architectural experiences that celebrate diversity.

Cherished Projects

Among her many projects, Yacoub fondly recalls working on the landscape design for Ambassador Dominic Goh’s residence in Cairo. She said, “While leading as the landscape designer for the Singaporean embassy in Cairo in 2022, Ambassador Goh and his wife entrusted me to design the landscape for their home”. The project allowed her to exercise her creative judgment while collaborating with clients who trusted her vision. The Egyptian architect explained, “Although they had a clear vision of what they wanted, they trusted me enough to let me get creative which I always appreciate in clients”. The result was a stunning, personalized
space, with multiple options for gathering spaces, that reflect their journey.

Crowning Achievements


Lead landscape designer for President Abdel Fatah El Sisi’s Ittihadiya Palace in Cairo stands out as Yacoub’s greatest accomplishment. She said, “The experience was one of a kind and one that I will definitely remember for a long time”. The unique experience, of working on a project of such significance, is etched in her memory as a testament to her skills and dedication.

Receiving a Fulbright scholarship is a crowning achievement for Yacoub. She reflected on her turbulent yet rewarding journey, “The journey was intense, beginning with crafting my portfolio eight months before the deadline. After thirteen months and multiple rounds of selection, I made it to the final stage.” Yacoub emphasizes the intense journey and the privilege of joining a prestigious international network, showcasing gratitude for the opportunity to pursue her passion with full funding. She said, “I am immensely grateful to be part of a global community of accomplished individuals.”

Navigating Challenges

Yacoub acknowledges the challenges of being a young female in the construction industry. Imposter syndrome has been an obstacle for her, “Imposter syndrome has oftentimes taken the best of me. It is important to remind yourself to focus on your tangible accomplishments rather than your imaginary fears.” Her resilience is evident as she thrives alongside great mentors who encourage her to take initiative on groundbreaking projects.

Words of Wisdom

One piece of advice from Yacoub’s mentors stands out—the five-minute rule. She explained, “If you are struggling with something, spend no more than five minutes researching and looking for an answer. If you cannot find it in five, ask someone who does!” Yacoub emphasizes the importance of admitting when stuck and leveraging the knowledge of others.

Yacoub encourages female architects to build a strong support network, cultivate authentic relationships, and confidently advocate for themselves. She explained, “Reach out to like-minded people who inspire you and make meaningful connections, whether it is through LinkedIn or simply introducing yourself at professional events.”  Yacoub also emphasised learning to advocate for yourself confidently and make sure that you ask for more responsibility. She advised, “Understand that success is almost always guaranteed when paired with effort, clear goals and determination.” She added, “Lastly, pay it forward by mentoring and supporting the next generation!”

Current & Future Projects

Yacoub is at the forefront of innovation, leading a team to develop a hydrophilic architectural unit addressing water scarcity. Compact, lightweight, and self-sufficient, the unit converts atmospheric humidity into usable water, offering a sustainable solution for arid regions. She explained, “The unit connects seamlessly to building facades, converting atmospheric humidity into usable water for various functions, inside and outside buildings.” Yacoub added, “They have undergone various experiments and have proved their reliability even in the driest regions worldwide. This solution reduces reliance on conventional water distribution systems, offering a sustainable, clean, and energy-efficient approach to alleviating water scarcity in hot and arid regions.”

As Yostina Yacoub pursues her architecture license in the United States, she eagerly anticipates the professional opportunities it will unlock. Her focus remains on patenting the hydrophilic architectural unit and preparing for its market launch. Yacoub is committed to publishing research and technologies, embracing collaboration, and inviting bright minds to contribute to her team’s innovative endeavours.

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