It was last February when A.J. Taaca and Aki Yoshida launched a new architecture firm called Hamajang Studio.
The pair shared the belief that great design is site-specific, concept-driven, and rooted in research, and established the company’s founding principles: serve the local community, prioritize design-focused architecture, and embrace the natural environments of Hawaii.
In its first year of business, the firm has 11 active projects at different phases of construction and design. Their project sites are located in Kailua-Kona, Kealakekua, Holualoa, and across the Kohala Coast in Hualalai, Mauna Kea and Waikoloa.
“Hamajang Studio is able to push the boundaries of modern design while amplifying the natural beauty of their project sites,” the pair explains.
Taaca and Yoshida met on the Big Island and connected instantly. Born and raised in Hawaii, Taaca is a passionate creative and an innovative thinker with background in landscape architecture and urban design. Yoshida, meanwhile, brings an international lens to her architectural work, having lived in Tokyo, London, Boston, Los Angeles, and Honolulu.
“We love the Big Island, and we feel a deep responsibility to the land,” Yoshida says. “Having such early success validates our approach and we are incredibly thankful for our clients who instilled their trust in our vision from day one.”
“It’s been a gratifying experience working in my home-state, with clients who appreciate thoughtful design,” Taaca adds. “We are happy to be here to serve our community.”
The word “Hamajang” is a Pidgin (Hawaii Creole English) word meaning “messy.”
“The architectural design and construction process can be complicated, but we thrive on it,” the founders say. “It is our goal to simplify the process while making it personal, collaborative, and fun.”
As part of their commitment to give back to the community, Taaca and Yoshida are active volunteers with Kealakehe High School’s STEM Program. In addition, Yoshida serves on the board of American Institute of Architects (AIA) Honolulu Chapter’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, champions women entrepreneurs, and hopes to inspire future female architects..
More information about Hamajang Studio can be found at hamajangstudio.com.