News That Stops You: Zhya Jacobs

Last night I received a call from my kaka that bode sad and tragic news. He was calling to inform me that someone I knew had passed away. That someone was a fellow architect Zhya Jacobs.

In the funny thing called life, Zhya and I were students of undergrad architecture at the same time. He at Academy of Architecture and I at Rizvi College of Architecture. More importantly we were neighbors at Sarita Apartments in Bandra. There were a few times when we exchanged notes, model making and stuff as fellow students of architecture.

After graduating and moving to the US, we stayed in touch sporadically over email, till last year when we met up a few times when he was in NYC. He was transitioning from Graduate School at Harvard to SOM Chicago. Recently we had exchanged a few emails when he moved to Adrian Smith’s office.

The news of his passing away, hits home. He and I were the same age and very similar professional backgrounds. Hope that his family finds the strength to cope with this tragedy.

More news here here.


  1. Aditya Karmarkar November 12, 2008

    I am deeply saddened to hear about Zhya’s untimely demise. Zhya happened to be in my elder brother’s batch at Bombay Scottish School and I personally got aquainted with him at our time at Academy of Architecture as undergrad students, overlapping only by a year. Zhya had a certain aura of positivity about him. He initially attended the same program at Georgia Tech’s College of Architecture before he went on to GSD. We were in touch then exchanging emails and phone calls. Though I didn’t know Zhya very well, I could sense a fine person in him. As my brother, who broke the news to me, aptly said “May he find peace.”
    Indeed. To Zhya’s folks, please accept my heartfelt condolences.

  2. Fellow Academite November 12, 2008

    I am so shocked and stunned with the news of Zhya’s misfortune. Nothing could have shocked me more than the sudden news. I knew him well enough in my earlier years in Academy of Architecture, and he always was the kindest and the nicest person around. Someone with a great sense of humor, a wonderful designer and a great writer. It feels weird to even digest the fact that he is no more.

    I hope his soul rests in peace. My heartfelt condolences and support to his family and friends.

  3. friend from the GSD November 12, 2008

    I am still very much in shock and don’t understand how it could be so that zhya is no longer with us. I got to know zhya on a project in the fall of 2005 in grad school. he had such a good attitude, even when it was 3am and our algorithms were not running correctly, he was always able to approach situations freshly and with grace. I remember he had a final project that was called “capturing the infinite” and while the project was about CAD/CAM’s application for structures in rural india, he explained the subtext of how his faith was woven into the project. His faith always seemed to be a big part of his life and I hope that he is somewhere in peace. My heart goes out to his parents and relatives.

  4. Quais November 26, 2008

    Surprised. Saddened.
    He was a fabulous person. I have been in touch with him off and on across these last 15 years and we had good conversations.
    May the Great Architect of the Universe rest his soul.

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