Karen Lee Bar-Sinai

Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture

Karen Lee Bar-Sinai is an Assistant Professor of Materials and Design at the department of Landscape Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Her research focuses on the relationships between matter, environment, and technology, exploring how precise tools can be leveraged to rethink materials, design, and construction at multiple scales.

Karen Lee is a licensed architect and holds a B.Arch from Technion – Israel Institute of Technology (1999-2004), an MSc in Cities from the London School of Economics, UK, as a Chevening Scholar (2006-2007), a Loeb Fellowship from the Harvard Graduate School of Design (LF’ 2013), a Ph.D. in Architecture from Technion – Israel Institute of Technology (2017-2021), and postdoctoral training as a Marie Curie Fellow (2022-2024) at the School of Engineering and Design at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). Her Ph.D. thesis developed cross-scalar methods for reconstituting found matter such as desert sand and transforming it into architectural and landscape structures using robotic tools. Her postdoctoral research explored the possibilities of modulating grounds for environmental performance using collective robotic construction.

In her professional work, Karen Lee co-founded SAYA/Design for Change, an architectural and urbanism practice dedicated to developing spatial visions for territorial disputes. She has also taught undergraduate and graduate studios and seminars in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Design at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem, and at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. Additionally, she served as a Visiting Professor at the Chair of Urban Design at the Technical University of Munich (TUM).

Her research and work have been published in leading academic conferences and journals (ACADIA, Buildings, Architectural Science Review, IEEE Access, Construction Robotics, and more), and recognized in various international publications including Foreign Policy, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Haaretz, and the Smithsonian Magazine.

At the GSD, Karen Lee focuses on materials, design, and tools in landscape architecture. She researches responsible material practices, bio-based materials, and hybrid fabrication, and explore future roles for robotic tools in construction and environmental tasks.