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Associate Professor Stephen Harfield


Professor Harfield has a range of specialisations in the broad area of design and design theory. These include the ontology of design, i.e. the nature of design and the role of ideology on design concepts; theorising design processes; the nature of theory; problems, problematisation and concepts i.e. problem solving and the structure of problems, the nature of design problems, problem setting in design and the nature of concepts, and finally, the relationships between theory and practice in planning, social planning and the suburb.

Steve teaches in the Bachelor of Design in Architecture, in the Master of Architecture and the Master of Advanced Architecture, covering variously architectural history and theory, architectural design and spatial research.

His current research projects focus on three areas, planning and social planning; thinking through theory, and photography and inference – a deceptive surface.

Says Steve: “Starting from the proposition that talking about theories is not the same as talking about theory, the majority of my work focuses on the role that theory plays in architectural and urban design. Specifically dealing with issues associated with ideology and assumption, with meaning, expectation, obligation and intent, and thus with the often unrecognised effects of theory on both our thinking and our actions, my work seeks to examine and draw attention to the significance of and relations between academic practice, i.e. analysis and critical engagement, and the external ‘doing’ of professional practice.”

Image of Stephen Harfield
Associate Professor, School of Architecture
BArch (Hons) (Adel), MArchSt (Adel)

Research Interests

General research interests focus on the nature of design thinking and of the design process, and on the nature and effects of theory. Starting from the initial proposition that talking about theory is not the same as talking about theories, ongoing research and publications explore the role that theory plays in our thinking and decision-making processes, with particular reference to architecture and design disciplines.

While the influence of theory is inevitable, ever-present, and often unconscious - theory thus being the invisible accomplice to all our thoughts and actions - at the same time, the nature of 'theory in itself', and the assumptions, expectations, restrictions and justifications that accompany theory, are generally misunderstood, usually insufficiently considered, and frequently badly appropriated. In this broad sense 'theory' incorporates not only 'formal' theory - that which is precisely articulated in response to specific questions or issues - but also a range of 'informal' but highly influential factors affecting our thinking, from the usually positively-construed notions of knowledge and experience, to the negatively-connoted terms bias, prejudice and assumption.

Can supervise: Yes
PhD level

Architectural and Design Theory
Architectural Design Studio
Architectural Research


Harfield, S. 2014, 'Cage, Chance, and Architecture: Distancing the Formalizing Agent' in Benedikt Michael (ed), Center 18: Music in Architecture - Architecture in Music, Center for Architecture and Design, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, pp. 124-131.
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From a Cagean perspective, this paper is an outcome. How it will be received by its audience is disassociated from how it was produced. Ye, at the same time, it is intended as a lens in the sense that the subject matter of the paper-John Cage's chance techniques in composing music-provides a means of thinking about chance techniques in designing architecture. This paper begins with a simple proposition: namely, that the use of digital techniques within architectural design has increasingly been directed not simply towards form generation but, more specifically, towards processes that actively distance the formalising agent-the designer-from such generation. By this I mean to suggest, without necessarily agreeing with the claim, that creatively in respect to form generation is perceived to be enhanced by removing from the design process thats et of likes and dislikes, preferences and prejudices, assumptions and desires, experience, knowledge, and commitments that inescapably constitute a part of the designer's makeup.
Harfield, S. 2012, 'Tutorial, desk crit' in Askland, H., Ostwald, M. & Williams, A. (eds), Assessing Creativity: Supporting Learning in Architecture and Design, Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT), Sydney, pp. 103-118.
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Chapter analysing the nature of creativity plus research data relating to issues of criticism within architectural design studio teaching.
Prior, J.H. & Harfield, S. 2012, 'Health, well-being and vulnerable populations' in Smith, S.J., Elsinga, M., O'Mahony, L.F., Eng, O.S., Watcher, S. & Hamnett, C. (eds), International Encyclopedia of Housing and Home, Elsevier, London, UK, pp. 355-361.
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Human vulnerability is becoming an increasing focus within diverse fields of practice such as nursing and health, economics, sociology, planning, environmental science, and disaster management. It is a complex, multidimensional, and relative notion, and, as Chambers (1989) explains, can be broadly understood as the exposure of people to contingencies, risks, shocks, and stresses, and their concomitant defencelessness and/or inability to reduce, mitigate, and cope with such stressors relative to other members of a given society. Over recent decades understanding of human vulnerability has been greatly enhanced via a focus on the unequal distribution of adverse effects of shocks, stressors, and risks within particular social and economic groups, and thus on the recognition that certain population subgroups are afflicted disproportionately by such stresses.
Harfield, S. 2007, 'Remembering to think: [Re] Viewing Creativity and Design' in Calder, J. (ed), Work LIfe, Woods Bagot Research Press, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 119-126.
Harfield, S. 2002, 'How Buildings come to be the way they are' in Best, R. & de Valence, G. (eds), Design and Construction: Building in Value, Butterworth Heinemann, Oxford, UK, pp. 20-35.
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Broadbent, J. & Harfield, S. 2000, 'Design and evolution' in Durling, D. & Friedman, K. (eds), Foundations for the Future: Doctoral Education in Design, Staffordshire University Press, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, UK, pp. 83-91.
This paper explores the nexus between design and evolution, at both macro and micro levels...While the process of designing is not designer-independent, and is thus to a large extent directed, rather than neutrally responsive to conditions, it nevertheless may be viewed as an evolutionary process in which the final outcome is generated via a process of increasingly informed generation, testing, development and modification.


Qattan, W. & Harfield, S. 2016, 'Architects and digital designing techniques frontiers', Living Systems and Micro-Utopias: Towards Continuous Designing, CAADRIA 2016, The 21st International Conference on Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia, CAADRIA, The University of Melbourne, pp. 601-610.
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Recently digital-design techniques have influenced the way architects think and design. This extends to impact architectural education by drawing new boundary lines. Therefore, it is desirable for architectural educators and students to consider these lines and to know how to establish them within these technological trends. This will be through raising their knowledge and skills in three aspects, which are algorithms and geometry characteristics, authorship, and fabrication in digital architecture.
Harfield, S. 2016, 'The idea of silence in relation to teaching and learning', Creating contexts for learning in Technology Education, 9th Biennial International Conference on Technology Education Research, Design & Technology Association of Australia, Magic Campus, University of South Australia, pp. 87-94.
Harfield, S. 2016, 'On the issue of abstraction in relation to education', Creating contexts in Technology Education, 9th Biennial International Conference on Technology Education Research, Design & Technology Association of Australia, University of South Australia, Magill Campus, pp. 79-86.
Hromek, M.J. & Harfield, S. 2014, 'Looking From Within, What Comes Out: An indigenous perspective on community and urbanism', Proceedings of the 12th Australasian Urban History Planning Conference, UHPH_14: Landscapes and Ecologies of Urban and Planning History, Australasian Urban History / Planning History Group & Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, pp. 291-305.
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While many Australian indigenous communities may be associated with western desert regions or remote country towns, this paper explores the notion(s) of indigenous communities in relation to the inner city. Given the potential nature and range of assumptions about communities in general, the paper will focus on three specific aspects of indigenous 'involvement', the first of which addresses the overall notion of what constitutes community and thus what constitutes community in relation to indigenous populations? On the basis of this, and given that communities in general may be understood and/or perceived in a range of different ways, the second investigates how indigenous communities are often regarded as being enclosed or self-aggregated - almost as if there is a negative perspective from the outside looking in - and thus addresses the question why might it be assumed that these people have nothing to offer? In opposition to this, then, and given the potentially positive nature of indigenous communities, the third, and perhaps most important section of the paper, involves a close examination of a particular urban indigenous population, that of Redfern in NSW, in order to advance the view that such a community might engender issues, qualities and/or values that can be utilised to enhance other and different communities. This paper therefore addresses the idea of indigenous communities from two quite different perspectives. The first interrogates the negative approach of the outsiders looking at indigenous communities and, in a sense, mentally pushing them away, as if to say `they don't have anything to do with me', while the second, and more positive approach, advances the proposition that there are indeed different and additional community elements within indigenous populations that might seriously enhance the nature of 'ordinary' communities.
Gardner, N.L. & Harfield, S. 2014, 'Great Expectations: Mobilising histories and transforming the city through mobile technology practices', Proceedings of the 12th Australasian Urban History Planning History Conference, UHPH_14: Landscapes and Ecologies of Urban and Planning History, Australasian Urban History / Planning History Group and Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand, pp. 195-212.
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When we consider ways of moving through the urban environment the tendency is to focus on how the material `fixities', such as a city's morphology, infrastructures, and built forms, calibrate such movement(s). In this way the practices of movement are reductively understood as vectorial, and as those produced by, or secondary to urban space. Yet as Cresswell (2006) notes, 'movement is rarely just movement; it carries with it the burden of meaning...' (p19). Given the significance of this, and in relation to a time of unparalleled mobility and connectivity, it is argued that new ways of being mobile, together with new forms of informational movement, are forcing us to confront dominant and deep-rooted notions of urban space; how it is produced, and transformed, and by whom. Thrift (2011) describes this as a 'transformation in the production of space, brought about through new practices of organising, analysing, displaying, storing and communicating information' (p6). He adds that our ways of sensing the world have also changed, and, as a result, it might be suggested that new types of perceptions and reflexive practices are also emerging. This paper considers how the behaviours and `mobilities' associated with forms of Internet-based informational access, production and interaction - referred to here as `mobile technology practices' - are `reconfiguring' the histories and meanings of urban spaces. This intends to establish a critical approach to how such practices facilitate ways of interacting with information, people and urban space; and to consider in what ways these constitute new - or perhaps alternative - forms of both urban historical practice and experience. Beginning with a broader discussion on mobile technology practices and urban spaces, behaviours, and experiences, this paper will then draw upon examples of mobile urban interpretive projects, including those local to inner city areas of Sydney, Australia.
Harfield, S. 2014, 'Liminality, Transition, Transformation – and Educational 'Re-Thinking'', Technology Education: Learning for Life, 8th Biennial International Conference on Technology Education, DATTA, Sydney, pp. 96-103.
While the concept of liminality is closely connected to both Van Gennep and Turner in relation to anthropology, recent papers have applied the notion to postcolonialism, liminal spaces, mental health, homelessness, music, and so on. Without arguing the differences between such disciplinary viewpoints it is important to consider how the very notion of liminality – associated as it is with key issues of difference and identity, of rights of passage, and of transition and transformation – is significantly associated withe duration, with educational development, and with how individuals may come to think differently. The very notion of 'in-betweens' is educationally important insofar as it suggests that, while the individual can be somehow 'set apart' from the norm, they may be subservient to the effect of liminality, or may find this an opportunity or a necessity to challenge that which is 'given to them'. The latter suggests not just potential disruption and disagreement, but rather the idea of transition and transformation, and, from an educational perspective, a 'finding of something new' that enables a challenging response to 'arrive; that significantly affects our thinking; and that promotes the emergence of different and diverse self-understandings and meanings.
Harfield, S. 2014, 'Unpacking 'Emergence'', Technology Education: Learning for Life, 8th Biennial International Conference on Technology Education, DATTA, Sydney, pp. 104-112.
While the disciplines of science and philosophy offer quite precise definitions of the notion of emergence, other disciplines such as those of design and educational discourse, might offer less rigorous, and perhaps more 'generalised', definitions. Nevertheless, the very idea of emergence in relation to design and technology, as well as educational discourse, is potentially significant, not least in respect of why the idea of 'emergent entities' might have appeal for those seeking to explain design generation and development , as well as advanced educational understanding. With the specific aim of analysing how the term might appropriately be used to describe and/or account for both design decision-making or design processes, and the potential emergence of 'new' ideas and viewpoints in regard to educational development – on the part of both student and teacher – this paper seeks (1) to clarify what the main features or characteristics of emergence are, as exemplified in a number of works pertaining to science and philosophy; (2) to establish how the term is currently employed within the discipline of design, architecture and fine art; and (3) to offer an analysis and critique of the potential significance of 'emergence' within educational development.
Harfield, S. 2012, 'Controls behind the scenes: On Position, Ideology, and Expectation', Explorations of best practice in Technology, Design & Engineering Education, 7th Biennial International Conference on Technology and Education Research (TERC), Griffith Institute for Educational Research, Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise, pp. 125-132.
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Thinking about learning in education inescapably draws us to consider teaching, the two, or so we assume, being so closely intertwined. And yet, the crucial role of the teacher-student relationship notwithstanding, two further aspects associated with learning - frequently under-examined by both student and teacher - are need of more detailed analysis. the first of these is the critical issue of self-learning, i.e. the possibility, indeed the necessity, of learning in the absence of formal teaching practices, such that self-learning becomes an intellectual extension of extant educational delivery. the second, of perhaps more significance, deals with the issues of existing knowledge and extant beliefs, and thus with preferences, prejudices and assumptions that lie within the minds of the students and which, consciously or sub-consciously, affect, potentially enhance, and determine, control and direct both their learning experiences and their acceptance and interpretation of information. Given the intense and inescapable interconnection between learning, self-learning, and pre-existing beliefs, the paper explores three key issues relating to learner and teacher, viz., the concept of position, the notion of ideology, and the role and effect of expectations in the receipt, development, and transmission of knowledge. Drawing on a range of recent discussions within the education literature the paper seeks to explicate the centrality of expectations, beliefs and assumptions in how students understand, critically interact with, and accept or reject information, ideas and views presented to them.
Harfield, S. 2012, 'Design problems, satisficing solutions, and the designer as formalizing agent: Revisiting wicked problems', Explorations of best practice in Technology, Design & Engineering Education, 7th Biennial International Conference on Technology and Education Research (TERC), Griffith Institute for Educational Research, Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise, pp. 133-140.
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In considering the terms 'design problems' and 'design solutions' at least five intertwined sets of issues are immediately invoked: (i) the 'over-accepted' assumption that design is problem solving; (ii) the proposition that, in significant ways, designing far exceeds problem-solving; (iii) the view that design problems are inevitably 'wicked' problems for which single or 'set' solutions are not to be expected; thus (iv) the realization that design outcomes are inescapably 'satisfying' solutions; and (v) the critical contention that, in important respects, it is the designer who sets the problem rather than simply 'receiving' it. drawing on a variety of sources on wicked problems and on the nature of design problems, as well as on the author's previous work on the centrality of designer-determined problems as well as specific solutions, the paper re-visits Rittel and Webber's assertions about wicked problems, and explores the issues of problem-finding and problem-setting; of the co-ectensive nature of problem and solution; of the notion of foreknowledge in the design process, and thus the inescapable 'unknown yet known' nature of future design solutions; of the absence of neutrality in the designer; and thus of how designer-driven solution criteria are central not only to problem-solving, but to the role of the designer as formalizing agent in terms of designer-driven problem establishment. The paper concludes by demonstrating that design skills, both learnt and taught, are inevitably augmented - or constrained - by notions of position, assumption, desire and expectation.
Prior, J.H. & Harfield, S. 2010, 'Urban purity and danger: the turbulence associated with contamination in suburban Australia', Green Fields, Brown Fields, New Fields: Proceedings of the 10th Australasian Urban History, Planning History Conference (CD-ROM)., Green Fields, Brown Fields, New Fields: Australasian Urban History, Planning History Conference, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, University of Melbourne, Australia, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-15.
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The rapid growth of Australian cities throughout the 19th and 20th centuries saw the emergence of a long-running tension between processes of urbanisation and industrialisation. Urbanisation is characterised by an increase in the number of people who chose to call the city their home. In this case, simultaneous industrialisation provided new residents with much-needed employment whilst locating noxious and polluting industries on their doorstep. This paper presents findings from an Australian research project that investigates how residential communities experience and perceive industrial contamination that modern urban planning has so vehemently sought to protect them from. It presents evidence on how such contamination can disrupt, challenge or completely invert the way in which residents approach their neighbourhood and home. This research addresses a gap in the literature, analysing the topic within the Australian context. This paper presents findings from a random telephone survey conducted with 400 suburban residents in the North Lake Macquarie area of New South Wales (NSW), living in proximity of industry, including a lead and zinc smelter. This research expands on the existing literature of Edelstein and others, to explore the psychosocial turbulence that emerges when the lifescape of suburban neighbourhoods in the Australia are contaminated by the toxicity of industries in this case the smelter has contaminated both the industrial land itself and the surrounding suburbs. Lifescape can be broadly defined to describe the individual habits and collective behaviour and assumptions that make up everyday life in local areas. Psychosocial turbulence extends from potential effects on peoples patterns of living, activities and relationships, through to their sense of health, security and safety, and their feeling of personal control.
Harfield, S. & Prior, J.H. 2010, 'A bright new suburbia? G.J. Dusseldorp and the development of the Kingsdene Estate', Green Fields, Brown Fields, New Fields: Proceedings of the 10th Australasian Urban History, Planning History Conference (CD-ROM)., Green Fields, Brown Fields, New Fields: Australasian Urban History, Planning History Conference, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, University of Melbourne, Australia, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-13.
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While the ongoing development of suburbia in Australia has undoubtebdly seen many key moments, few have been as radical and iconic as that represented by the design and marketing of the Kingsdene Estate in Carlingford, NSW. Initiated by the Lend Lease Corporation under the impetus of founder and managing diretor G.J. Dusseldorp in 1960, and included in the RAIA 20th Century Register of Significant Buildings in September 2006, the Kingsdene Estate marks an important innovation in the history of speculative suburban development from three particular perspectives. Firstly, and responding to the considerable migration rates of the late `50s and early60s, and to the increased demand for home ownership at this time, Dusseldorps intention, though still aimed at the consumer `off-the-peg market, was to go beyond the `standard spec-built house of the period to produce repeatable model houses of superior quality. To this end he employed as his designers a group of young and forward-thinking architects whose work here effectively launched the `project home into the commercial market. Secondly, and from a planning and sub-division perspective, Dusseldorps strategy was based on a strict commitment to rational and testable criteria for the efficient use of land. Finally, and from a marketing perspective, the Kingsdene Estate adopted a campaign that has rarely, if ever, been equalled. Undertaken as a joint venture between the Lend Lease Corporation and Australian Consolidated Press Holdings Pty Ltd (ACP), the developers drew heavily on the resources of The Australian Womens Weekly, The Daily Telegraph and TCN Channel Nine to offer blanket publicity for the venture. Drawing on a range of contemporary newspaper and magazine sources, and on unpublished interviews with key protagonists conducted by Mr Geoff Ferris-Smith in the early `90s, the paper explores the unique combination of these three key strategies in the making of a major Sydney suburban subdivision.
Harfield, S. 2010, 'Six Functions of Theory: Affecting and Effecting Design Thinking', ConnectED 2010: International Conference on Design at Sydney, ConnectED: International Conference on Design Education, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-5.
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The idea of 'theory' whether in Thomas `grand theory sense or in the more informal `mental model sense [1997: 86] is generally accepted within most disciplines, including architecture and design, as being indicative of an underlying set of premises, propositions or beliefs that represent the very foundations of our thoughts and actions. Inescapably informed by theory as we all are by a `knowing commitment to particular and specific theories no less than by an often `unknowing and unrecognized commitment to the `everydayness of personal knowledge and assumptions, preferences and prejudices, expectations and desires there nevertheless appears to be a significant lack of attention paid to exploring just how theory `works and what it `does.
Harfield, S. 2010, 'Drawing on Nickles: Design tasks in the light of the philosophical analysis of problems', ConnectED 2010: International Conference on Design Education at Sydney, ConnectED: International Conference on Design Education, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-5.
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It is now approaching 30 years since the publication of Thomas Nickles classic paper `What is a problem that we may solve it? [1981]. While directed specifically at philosophy of science and epistemology, Nickles observations on and speculations about the nature of problems offer a particular and potentially informative vantage point for [re]viewing so-called design problems. Having previously declared my discomfort with the conventional `design = problem solving view of design activity, yet having elected, pro tem, to retain the problem/solution language frame in order more easily to demonstrate that conventional wisdom has misunderstood just what problem it is that the designer `solves [Harfield 2007a; 2007b], the current paper revisits the question of `what is a problem from a more fundamental level.
Harfield, S. 2010, 'Urban design as social benefit: Thinking beyond formality and physicality', ANZAPS 2010 Conference Proceedings, The Australian and New Zealand Association of Planning Schools Annual Conference, Lincoln University, Christchurch, New Zealand, pp. 53-64.
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Prior, J.H. & Harfield, S. 2009, 'Towards a philosophy of social planning: cities and social planning', State of Australian Cities (SOAC) Conference, State of Australian Cities Conference, Promaco Conventions Pty Ltd and DiskBank, Perth, Western Australia, pp. 1-22.
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Given the conspicuous and wide-ranging effects emanating from planning, this paper takes as its starting point the proposition that all planning, not least that directed at Australian cities, must address and resolve the issue of legitimacy in terms of what justifies its decisionmaking and intervention(s). Specifically focusing on the discipline of social planning, with its complex relationships with that segment of the real world that we call `social reality or `social practice, the paper argues that such planning must justify its legitimacy not only in terms of its actions and consequences, but, more significantly, on the basis of a substantive and critical examination of the values, knowledge, politics and ideologies that have underpinned its emergence throughout the 20th century and that currently inform and drive it.
Harfield, S. & Prior, J.H. 2008, 'Imagining Suburbia as the Roots of Sea-Change and Tree-Change: A Study of Sydney and Melbourne Media', Proceedings: 9th Australasian Urban History / Planning History Conference, Urban History Planning History (Australasia), CD-ROM / University of the Sunshine Coast, Caloundra, pp. 1-11.
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Prior, J.H. & Harfield, S. 2008, 'A vexed terrain: exploring assumptions and preconceptions around planning education in universities', Conference Proceedings, ANZAPS Conference 2008, Australian and New Zealand Association of Planning schools, Australian and New Zealand Association of Planning Schools, Sydney, Australia, pp. 35-45.
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In the course of its ongoing development, planning in Australia, as elsewhere in the world, has undergone an increasing ;process of professionalisation. Like medicine, law, engineering or accounting it has its own formal qualifications, based upon education and examinations, and its own regulatory bodies with powers to admit and discipline members. The paper begins by exploring a growing awareness of the notion of 'diverse communities', both in terms of the communities that the planning professionals serve, and the way in which the planning profession itself is increasingly being made up of diverse communities of planning specialists. Drawing, along with a range of other documentary sources, on a series of inquiries conducted over the last decade and inquiring into planning education and employment (NSW Department of Planning 2006; Planning Institute of Australia 2004; Ourran et al. 2008), the paper explores some of the key debates andlor tensions which have emerged repeatedly within these documents concerning the type of education that planning programs within universities are expected, assumed or perceived to play in the provision of planning education to the growing diversity of specialist communities of interest that make up the Australian planning profession (Ourran et al. 2008 p4).
Harfield, S. 2008, 'Problems, Design Problems, and Designers: Decision-making in Action', Exploring Technology Education: Solutions to issues in a globalised world, Biennial International Conference on Technology Education Research, Griffth University, Surfer's Paradise, pp. 177-185.
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Abstract: While it is undeniable that both design and design education seek to engage with meaningful problems and to achieve desirable solutions, much of design education is still hostage to the twin notions (i) that problems constitute sets of external conditions presented to the designer for the most efficacious solution and (ii) that the potential problem-solver is somehow neutral in respect of the problems s/he engages with, âmerelyâ applying extant skills and knowledge to achieve their solution. This mindset can easily mistake design education for the provision of just such technical skills and knowledge, and fails to take due cognisance of the central role of the problem-solver in establishing just what problem is actually being solved in any particular case. In elucidating this the paper argues that meaningful problems are to a significant extent self-determined by the design problem-solver; that there is an intrinsic, and often under-acknowledged, link between problem-setting and the establishment of outcome possibilities; and that relevant criteria of outcome acceptability or desirability cannot be known, to either designer or client, in advance of both personal problem-setting and the advancement of solution-candidates.
Harfield, S. 2007, 'On the self-construction of design problems', ConnectED: International Conference on Design Education, ConnectED: International Conference on Design Education, University of New South Wales, University NSW, Randwick, NSW, pp. 1-5.
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Oluwoye, J.O. & Harfield, S. 2000, 'An examination of gender disparity on several factors influencing the use of building designers draftspersons or architects in building development in NSW Australia', Proceedings of CIB W96 Commission of Architectural Management, International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB) Meetings, Workshops, Symposia, Conferences, CIB Rotterdam, Atlanta, USA, pp. 173-188.
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Journal articles

Davy, C., Harfield, S., McArthur, A., Munn, Z. & Brown, A. 2016, 'Access to primary health care services for Indigenous peoples: A framework synthesis', International Journal for Equity in Health, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 1-9.
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© 2016 The Author(s).Background: Indigenous peoples often find it difficult to access appropriate mainstream primary health care services. Securing access to primary health care services requires more than just services that are situated within easy reach. Ensuring the accessibility of health care for Indigenous peoples who are often faced with a vast array of additional barriers including experiences of discrimination and racism, can be complex. This framework synthesis aimed to identify issues that hindered Indigenous peoples from accessing primary health care and then explore how, if at all, these were addressed by Indigenous health care services. Methods: To be included in this framework synthesis papers must have presented findings focused on access to (factors relating to Indigenous peoples, their families and their communities) or accessibility of Indigenous primary health care services. Findings were imported into NVivo and a framework analysis undertaken whereby findings were coded to and then thematically analysed using Levesque and colleague's accessibility framework. Results: Issues relating to the cultural and social determinants of health such as unemployment and low levels of education influenced whether Indigenous patients, their families and communities were able to access health care. Indigenous health care services addressed these issues in a number of ways including the provision of transport to and from appointments, a reduction in health care costs for people on low incomes and close consultation with, if not the direct involvement of, community members in identifying and then addressing health care needs. Conclusions: Indigenous health care services appear to be best placed to overcome both the social and cultural determinants of health which hamper Indigenous peoples from accessing health care. Findings of this synthesis also suggest that Levesque and colleague's accessibility framework should be broadened to include factors related to the...
Harfield, S. 2007, 'On Design 'Problematization': Theorising Differences in Designed Outcomes', Design Studies, vol. 28, no. 02, pp. 159-173.
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This paper offers a speculative account of the way in which architectural design problems are 'solved', and of the significant ways in which such problems are constructed by the designers themselves. Deliberately retaining pro tem the traditional 'problem solution' language frame, the paper questions this viewpoint by positing a distinction between two categories of problem: the 'problem as given' and the 'problem as design goal'. While the first represents a conventional understanding of the problem presented for solution, the paper speculates that this is not the problem that the designer seeks to solve. A second category is therefore introduced to delineate the problem that is actually solved. This problem, termed the 'problem as design goal', is created by the imposition on to the 'problem as given' of a range of designer preferences, expectations and prejudices which not only define the 'actual' problem but, at the same time, establish the means and requirements for its acceptable solution. Such 'problematization', different for each designer and for each project, is posited as being central to architectural design, informing and constraining both the design activity and the final outcome in ways that are not determined by the brief itself.
Harfield, S. 2007, 'On design 'problematization': Theorising differences in designed outcomes', DESIGN STUDIES, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 159-173.
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Harfield, S. & Oluwoye, J.O. 2001, 'Selecting service providers for building work - an analysis od determinants in New South Wales (Australia)', Journal of Construction Research, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 77-86.
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Oluwoye, J.O. & Harfield, S. 2001, 'Influencing the use of building designers, draftpersons or architects in building development', The international journal of architectural management practice and research, vol. 16, pp. 97-115.
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Harfield, S. 1998, 'The lure of the sirens' song: Part 1, first thoughts on process', Journal of Architectural Education, vol. 52, no. 3, pp. 174-188.
The nature and constituent activities of the so-called design process have been a frequent subject of discussion and speculation since the early sixties. Usually conducted under the formal rubric of design methods or, more recently, artificial intelligence or expert systems, several generations of assertions and models have found currency within the disciplines of architecture, engineering, and design. Yet despite the extent of the literature available - from the so0-called first-generation design methods represented by such early works as Asimow, Thornley, Jones, and Archer through the conjecture-analysis model of Hillier, Musgrove, and O'Sullivan, the later Jones, and the "design science" proposals of writers such as Cross, Naughton, and Walker; the more broadly based and populist studies of Suckle, Hubel and Lussow, Rowe, and Lawson; recent papers like Hyde, Eckersley, and Roozenburg and Cross; and the plethora of computer-oriented studies represented by the work and editorializing of Gero et al. - there is little agreement about the nature and implications of the term design process. 1 Indeed, there is surprisingly little sustained discussion of process at all, with the majority of discussions assuming an understanding of and familiarity with process and thus centering on activities, methods, or stages believed to be constituent within such a process. With specific reference to architecture and design, this article examines and offers some suggestions on the nature of and implications inhering in the term process. On the basis that it might offer an unproblematic and highly deterministic example of process, the strategy adopted is first to make a detailed analysis of the term recipe and then to use this frame of reference to interrogate and map the largely nondeterministic processes of design. Part 2 will examine in more detail the discourse on and putative models of the design process offered in the literature. © 1999 ACSA, Inc.