Harriet Harriss


Principal Lecturer Student Experience
Subject coordinator MArchD Applied Architectural Design


Harriet Harriss is a Principal Lecturer in Architecture at Oxford Brookes University and subject coordinator for the MArchD in Applied Architectural Design. Her doctoral research concerns how architecture 'live projects' enable aspiring architects to manage emergent ambiguities in risk exposure & decision-making: a thesis she has been testing through a range of live project initiatives & collaborations situated in both the UK and USA. These have been recognised for excellence in teaching by a Brookes Teaching Fellowship (2010-12), a Winston Churchill Fellowship (2011) a Higher Education Academy Internationalisation Fellowship (2012) and most recently two Santander Awards. Previously, in 2004 Harriet won a public funding commission (NESTA) to establish & co-direct Design Heroine Architecture (DHA); a niche practice that focused on public participation in architecture and co-created both innovative and responsive spatial projects and design research publications. DHA also specialised in developing 'participation prototypes,' for a diverse range of public and private sector clients.

In 2007, Harriet was awarded a British Academy Rome Scholarship enabling her to pursue a research interest in the Baroque theatre of an abandoned abattoir and establishing her trajectory into academia.

Since joining Oxford Brookes, Harriet has successfully developed a diverse range of teaching and research activities and outputs. These include establishing interdisciplinary collaborations with the MBA program, blending 'design thinking' and commercial tenacity in the same learning space - a project which helped secure HEIF funding to develop an MArchD Architecture graduate business incubator, launching later this year. Harriet also set up and ran Architecture Live Projects International Symposium 2012 an international live project Summer school with Montana State University. As well as teaching design, architectural history, theory and representation, her other areas of interest include film and animation, the history of British social housing, the growth of 17th Century London estates, participatory design methods, the power stations of London repurposing of post-industrial space and the future of architectural education. In January 2013, Harriet was selected as one of just 60 women nationally for the BBC Expert Women database project. The initiative aims to boost the number of female experts having a voice in the media. Her forthcoming book, ‘Radical Pedagogies; Architecture & the British Tradition’ (RIBA Publishing) is due for publication in Spring 2015 and is available for pre-order.

Consultancy / Expertise

  • RIBA Chartered and ARB Registered architect
  • External Examiner ​ Leeds Metropolitan School of Architecture (2013-), Arts University Bournemouth. ​
  • Brookes Teaching Fellow
  • ​Royal Academy Fellow
  • ​Higher Education Academy Fellow
  • ​Royal Society of the Arts Fellow

Selected publications, public presentations and conference papers

Froud, D., Harriss, H., (2015) Radical Pedagogies: Architectural Education & the British Tradition (RIBA Publications).

Harriss, H., (2015) Edge Condition Magazine Vol 4. Front page design & article.

Harriss, H., Widder, L., (2014) Architecture Live projects: pedagogy into practice. Routledge

Harriss, H. (2014) The playful pavilion: Learning from risky experimentation in real time. The Open University, Open Arts Journal (OAA) launch edition

Harriss, H., Widder, L., (2014) Higher Education Academy Seminar (HEA) HEA STEM Seminar. ‘Live Project’ pedagogy into practice: co-authoring an assessment criteria. Oxford Brookes University, 21 February 2014.

Harriss, H., Widder, L., (2014) Santander Funded Research Paper

Harriss, H., (​Dec, ​2013) Crow​n​ing glories, regal aspects. Times Higher Education Magazine

Higher Education Academy Internationalisation Award 2012 – resulting in: Harriss, H., Penin, L., Staszowski, E., (2013) ‘AMPLIFY SOUNDVIEW: reflecting on the use of digital tools for promoting community engagement & stewardship in the development and care of the Soundview Park in New York City. MIT Lab Publication.

Harriss, H. (2012) ‘Architecture School Live Projects: A pedagogic model for socially responsive teaching & learning.’ EAIR Conference 2012: The Social Charter of Higher Education, Norway, Sept 2012

Harriss, H. (2012) ‘Expanded Practices in Architecture: the architecture school of tomorrow.’ [Presentation] ‘Trust Us’ London Design Festival Panel Discussion, V&A Museum, London, Sept 2012

Harriss, H. (2012) ‘The distributed studio’ [paper] Studio Cultures Conference, London Metropolitan University, June 2012

Harriss, H. (2012) ’Women in Architecture.’ Revolution, Reform, Relevance: Expanding Architecture: operating a social agenda [Presentation] Architecture Sans Frontieres, Architecture Centre Network, April, 2012

Harriss, H. (2012) ‘It’s the Real Thing’ [Article] RIBA Journal, May 2012

Harriss, H. (2012) Architecture Live Projects, Oxford School of Architecture 2010-12

H.Harriss (2011) ‘Learning Architecture through Live Projects: Building community university partnerships for teaching & learning excellence & community enhancement’ Winston Churchill Trust Fellowship Report

Black, T., Harriss, H., (2010) ‘The Culture of Rowing & Swimming: spaces of sport.’ June-July 2010, Installation (June 2010) Paper presentation at The Culture of Rowing & Swimming Symposium Fri 16 July 10am-5pm The Isis Farmhouse. See the Cultural Olympiad blog.

Harriss, H. (2011) ‘Architecture as a social activity.’ [Paper] Social Enterprise; Lessons for Architects. Conference, 2-3 April 2011

Harriss, H. (2010) Ludic Architecture: playful tools for participation in spatial design. Design Principles and Practices: International Journal Common Ground Vol 4, Number 5, 2010

Cassells, E., Harriss, H. (2010) 'Learning from ambiguity within an interdisciplinary learning context' [Conference Paper] Brookes Learning and Teaching Conference 2010: Building Networks, partnerships and communities (25 June 2010)

Harriss, H. (2010) 'Ludic Architecture' [Conference Paper] Design Principles and Practices Conference, Chicago, USA (February 2010)

Harriss, H. (2009) This House Believes Architectural Education Is Failing to Produce 21st Century Professionals with the right set of skills Debate (podcast)Building Futures Debate Series, Winter, 26th November 2009

Harriss, H. (2009) 'The taxonomy and transposition of architectural knowledge' [Symposium Paper] RIBA Changing Practices Symposium, September 24th, 2009

Harriss, H. (2009) Who'll lead our brave new world? Plan Magazine Jan/Feb 2009

Harriss, H. (2009) Talented, Female Architect? You're Fired! Plan Magazine (June-July 2009)

Harriss, H.(2007) 'Reducing the Archi-ego' a case for public participation. Plan Magazine (Jan-Feb 2007)

Harriss, H. (2006) The Onion Project: design scenarios for memory loss healthcare. Design of the Times (DOTT)

Harriss, H. (2006) 'Can you name six women architects?' Plan Magazine (Nov-Dec 2006)

Harriss, H. (2005) Capture It. Future Workplace design for the multi-generational worker. Helen Hamlyn Research Centre (co-authored, consortium funded)

Harriss, H. (2005) 'Designs on Health - healthy work environments and practices.’ National Health Service - Modernisation Agency (Chapter 3)

Harriss, H. (Editor) (2002-3) Pollen Magazine, dissemination between design practices Royal College of Art