Manifest sees no division between the poetic potential of ideas, and a pragmatic approach to problem solving, seeking to create Architecture of experience, not image.

Manifest sees no division between the poetic potential of ideas, and a pragmatic approach to problem solving, seeking to create Architecture of experience, not image.


That is to say we see architecture as a way to examine curiosities and find particular expression of these in spaces and materials that develop with inhabitation and memory. Architecture is our catalyst to raise questions and provide inventive solutions. We are passionate about our work and look to uncover the potential of every project through a robust, open-minded and approachable design process.

As a young studio (with a wealth of experience) we are happy to adapt our role to the conditions of each project. We enjoy creating beautiful buildings and places for people to inhabit through a close professional collaboration with our clients, local communities, and an expert network of specialist consultants and contractors that we have built up over many years.

Manifest’s two founders share over thirty years of collective practice across a wide range of projects. They have designed, led and managed the development and construction of urban, commercial, residential, cultural and educational projects both within the UK and around the world. Skilled designers and clear communicators, they are used to developing project briefs, working within tight budgets, tackling complex sites, collaborating with multiple stakeholders and negotiating challenging planning procedures to create original and engaging work.

We understand that commissioning buildings can be a complex, confusing and daunting process. We take great care in helping our clients understand the potential of their assets and balancing competing priorities to realise their goals, carefully engaging them through the various stages of each project and promoting a transparent and exciting  journey from conception to completion. We strive to exceed expectations and demonstrate a personal, particular commitment throughout the duration of each project.


James Harper studied Architecture at Glasgow School of Art and the Bartlett UCL. He has previously worked for Mecanoo Architects and O.M.A in the Netherlands where he benefited from design responsibility for international projects including museums, hotels and varied mixed-use and master-planning schemes.

On return to the UK, he worked at Satellite Architects for over a decade, where he took on the role of design director, working across the whole office and covering projects with a broad range of scales, material approaches, and typologies.

More recently James has been providing services as a senior consultant, leading the delivery and development of larger social housing projects, schools and sculptural park pavilions for cafes and sports facilities. He is a regular design critic at various schools of architecture in the UK.

A skilled designer, clear communicator, and an experienced team leader, James works closely with clients and stakeholders at different scales to develop briefs, diversification strategies and procurement approaches, with particular experience with housing, education, historic buildings, sensitive locations and low-energy design. He is adept at designing creative solutions to architectural challenges while designing within substantial financial, time and planning constraints.