Who We Are

Who We Are

Today, we’re building upon our legacy of industry-leading architectural delivery.

We’ve become an interdisciplinary global design firm by expanding our team beyond architects and interior designers to include researchers, urban designers, nurses, anthropologists, graphic designers and more. At HKS, we view design as a process of discovery. Design research enables us to experiment, to improve — and to design smarter solutions. That’s particularly important as we strive to create a more resilient future.

What We Believe

We believe that design should build trust between our collaborators, our clients and those who inhabit the places we design. We aim to inspire and empower the people and communities who encounter our work. To preserve and respect our natural resources, we create places that conserve and rejuvenate our planet, too.

“Design is a way of thinking. It can uncover hidden opportunities and create meaningful change. Design done right delivers the extraordinary.”

President & CEO


Our Leadership

We invite you to meet our team, led by a group of people respected for their personal character and professional expertise.

Explore Viewpoints

Leading Voices

Four people sitting in armchairs around a coffee table with water glasses, discussing paperwork
Black and white image of Howard K. Smith, HKS's founder, working on a design model on a table


Building a Legacy

Harwood K. Smith (left) was born and raised in Evanston, Illinois. A gifted painter, he studied at the world-renowned School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In college, Harwood opted to channel his artistic creativity into architecture. Upon graduation, he moved to Dallas, Texas, to begin an architectural practice.

Harwood founded HKS in 1939. The Texas spirit—entrepreneurial, proud, resourceful & independent—underpins our culture to this day. Harwood’s artistic dreams also continue fuel our own: to inspire through design.


For our ability to imagine, design and create environments that achieve meaningful impact, our firm has been honored with a number of international awards. Here is a selection of those we’ve won recently.

2023 COTE Top Ten

for North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood

2022 Fast Company Most Innovative Companies

Most Innovative Architecture Companies

2022 World Architecture Festival Award

for SoFi Stadium

2022 ASID Outcomes of Design Award

for North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood

2022 Center for Health Design Touchstone Platinum Award

HKS wins three awards

2022 Gold Key Award, Upscale Hotel

for Hotel Indigo Nanjing Gardon Expo


What’s It Like to Work With Us?

Five people sitting around a table laughing and looking at a magazine
A man and a woman looking at designs laid out on a table in front of them


Meet Our Team