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Graeme Nicholls, Harriet Harriss, Hanif Kara and Roz Barr join AJ Student Prize jury

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The AJ has revealed the jury for the inaugural AJ Student Prize, for which entries close on 8 June

It will be judged by Hanif Kara, principal at AKT II; architect and former RIBA vice-president for education Roz Barr; architect and academic Harriet Harriss; and Glasgow-based architect, educator and artist Graeme Nicholls. The jury will be chaired by AJ Architecture editor Rob Wilson and assistant architecture editor Jon Astbury.

The free-to-enter contest is aimed specifically at UK architecture schools, and is open to all students on RIBA-accredited architecture courses.

We are inviting all schools to submit the final-year projects of their two best students – one at undergraduate (Part 1) and one at postgraduate (Part 2) level. The projects must have been completed in the 2017/18 academic year. The AJ will publish the two entries received from each school in its annual student issue in July.

The judges will then choose two winners, one from each level, who will be announced at a prize-giving event in London this September. The winners’ work will also be covered in a September issue of the AJ.

This prize is a great platform for universities to celebrate the work of their students and their architecture departments in teaching the next generation of skilled architects.

How to enter

Entries must be submitted by the school and not by individual students. 

  1. Head to the AJ Student Prize website
  2. Complete the free registration process and entry form. You will be asked to provide general information about the school eg number of students, courses offered.
  3. Upload work for each student project. The following must be submitted:
  • Executive summary of the project – maximum of 200 words
  • Executive summary about why the student should win – maximum of 200 words
  • 5-10 high-resolution jpeg images of the project. Where possible this should include plans, sections etc. We need a range of landscape and portrait images


  • Only entries from schools based in the UK are valid
  • Entries must have been produced by students during the most recently completed academic season (2017/18)
  • Each school can submit a maximum of two entries – one project from an undergraduate student and one from a postgraduate student. If a school submits multiple entries, the AJ’s editorial team will decide on the best entries to put forward for judging – but we would strongly advise that the school makes the decision on whose work to put forward
  • The submitted projects should be the final project completed either at undergraduate or postgraduate level. 


Friday 8 June 2018

About the judges

Hanif Kara is a practising engineer and a principal at London-based structural engineering company AKT II. Its work has seen successful collaborations with renowned developers, architects and academic institutions, driven by a reputation for delivery combined with a penchant for research, speculation and experimentation. Kara is currently professor in practice of architectural technology at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard and has published widely in technical journals on issues of design and interdisciplinary practice.

Beyond his projects and academic commitments, Kara’s larger global footprint has led to his receiving the ACE Engineering Ambassador Award in 2011. In 2011 he became the first engineer to be a judge for the annual RIBA Stirling Prize, and was the first structural engineer to be appointed as a commissioner for CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, 2008-2012). More recently he sat on the steering committee of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture’s latest cycle. 

Roz Barr founded Roz Barr Architects in 2010. Roz Barr’s interest in developing an idiosyncratic process of making led her to pursue her own architectural studio, her portfolio has grown quickly, and the size of the studio has followed. As founder and director, she has learnt through experience that being at the forefront of any design lead practice requires constant involvement in all stages of the design and delivery of a project. The office uses “models or maquettes” as a critical part of their process of developing a project, where architectural ideas are realised through its making. In 2017, following an exhibition of their work called “Adaptation” they published their first book which documents the first five years of making. 

Roz has taught at the Architectural Association and the Bartlett School of Architecture in London and is an External Examiner on the MA Architecture course at the Architectural Association, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen and Kingston University She also sits on the RIBA National and International Validation Panel for Education. Roz was Vice President of Education at the RIBA between 2012 -2015

Harriet Harriss is a qualified architect and leads the architecture research programme at the Royal College of Art, London. Her teaching, research and writing are largely focused upon pioneering new pedagogic models for design education as captured in Radical Pedagogies: Architectural Education & the British Tradition. Her 2016 publication, A Gendered Profession, asserts the need for widening participation as a means to ensure the profession remains as diverse as the society it seeks to serve. Harriss has won various awards for teaching excellence including a Brookes Teaching Fellowship, a Higher Education Academy Internationalisation Award, a Churchill Fellowship and two Santander awards. Before joining the RCA, she led the MArchD in Architecture at Oxford Brookes and was appointed a principal lecturer of student experience. She was most recently awarded a Clore Fellowship (2016-17) and elected to the European Association of Architectural Education (EAAE) Council in summer 2017. Harriss was recently appointed to the UK Department for Education construction industry panel, and is currently working on a book that explores women’s leadership in architectural academia. As of 2018, she is chair of the RIBA Dissertation Medal judging panel.

Graeme Nicholls is an award-winning architect, educator and artist based in Glasgow. Graeme trained at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, and at North Carolina State University in the United States. After qualifying as an architect in 2005, Nicholls worked in some of the top design-led practices in both Scotland and Australia, before going on to found Graeme Nicholls Architects in 2016. 


The AJ Student Prize is sponsored by

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