Hanif Kara

Professor in Practice of Architectural Technology

Professor Hanif Kara is a practicing Structural Engineer and Professor in Practice of Architectural Technology at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard. His work is recognized as being linked with the research and education areas of design. He co-tutored a Diploma Unit at the Architecture Association, London from 2000 to 2004 and was Visiting Professor of Architectural Technology at KTH Stockholm from 2007 to 2012.

As Design Director and co-founder of AKTII (est 1996), his particular ‘design-led’ approach and interest in innovative form, material uses, and complex analysis methods have allowed him to work on numerous award-winning, pioneering projects.

The practice has won over 250 design awards including the RIBA Stirling Award for the Peckham Library, London in 2000 and for the Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge in 2012 as well as the RIBA Lubetkin Prize for the UK Pavilion at Shanghai Expo in 2010.

Hanif’s career extends beyond the structural engineering disciplines and led to him receiving the UK ACE Engineering Ambassador Award in 2011 and becoming the first Engineer to be a judge for the annual coveted RIBA Stirling Prize 2011. He is a fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Institute of Civil Engineers, Royal Academy of Engineering, Institute of Structural Engineering, the Royal Society of Arts, and on the board of trustees of the Architecture Foundation. Formerly he was a CABE Commissioner and served as a member of the Design for London Advisory Group to the Mayor of London. Hanif was on the Master Jury for the 2004 cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, and also served as a project reviewer in 2007 and 2010. Since 2015 he has served as a review panel member of the National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCR) (Digital Fabrication) at ETH Zurich.

He has also contributed to a number of widely published works including ‘Design Engineering’, 2008, a retrospective of AKT’s first decade, and ‘Interdisciplinary Design: New Lessons from Architecture and Engineering’, 2012, co-published with Harvard. Recently he edited ‘Deliverance of Design – making, mending and revitalising structures’, a look at the works of AKT II from 1996 – 2016. His most recent publications are ‘Design Engineering Refocused’ and  the ‘Architecture of Waste’.


Bachelor of Science Honours (BSc (Hons))

Fellow of the Institute of Structural Engineers (FIStructE)

Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FAE)

Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Hon FRIBA)

Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA)

Fellow of the Institute of Civil Engineers (FICE)

Chartered Engineer (CEng)