Personal profile

Research interests

Design-led innovation approaches to support sustainable development (eco-innovation, ecodesign, design thinking)  


At Ecodesign Centre (EDC) he led research within European Commission framework (FP7) collaborative project (cycLED), to develop eco-innovation methods to reduce the consumption of Critical Raw Materials within the lighting sector. Also, at EDC he initiated and managed the Mapping Critical Resources Wales (MCRW) project which defined future resource management issues for Wales. At Nottingham Trent University he managed the ‘Future Factory’, a £1.9M European Regional Development Funded (ERDF) Sustainable Design Centre. There he created a programme of sustainable design awareness and capacity building activities with businesses across the East Midlands. Prior to this, as Design Modelling Lab Manager at RMIT University, he supervised multidisciplinary concept prototyping and product development practices, and taught industrial design electives.

His experience of running a successful design and manufacturing studio for seven years also informs his business innovation and research interests. He now works with partners to develop human-centred, technology enabled and collaboratively designed responses to shared challenges.

Teaching interests

Philip Harfield is the MA Design Innovation Course Leader and Senior Lecturer in Design Thinking and Innovation. His advocacy for design-led innovation has been realised through international eco-innovation research, leading sustainable business initiatives and creative design practice.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action


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