Creative Arts


Dr Robert Harland

Photo of Dr Robert  Harland

Senior Lecturer

Programme Director for Graphic Communication and Illustration

Robert holds a PhD in Architecture (Social Sciences) from The University of Nottingham and an undergraduate degree in Information Graphics (first class) from Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham. During his early career he spent 15 years working in the creative industries in London, where he established Harland Design after working as a designer for Tatham Pearce Ltd. Since then he has held several positions in higher education institutions in the United Kingdom. He joined Loughborough University in 2008.


Robert teaches research, masters and undergraduate students and is presently the module leader for:

SAP105 Design and Research

Robert’s research critically analyses the relationship between graphic form and urban context, and explores the way design facilitates the function of graphic objects as urban objects. 

He is currently Principal Investigator on a £250,000 AHRC funded project ‘Repositioning Graphic Heritage’ in collaboration with academics at the College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University, Shanghai. For details see

Other recent research includes a three-year study into representations of Fascism in new town development in the Latina Province, Italy. 

In 2017 he established the Loughborough Urban Graphic Object Archive, a digital research and education resource for research collaboration and doctoral study. 



Robert has supervised 6 PhD students to completion and is currently supervising a further 4 candidates.


Open office hours

Semester one, 2018–19

Week 1 Wednesday 2 October 10:00—12:00noon

Week 2 Tuesday 9 October 1:00–3:00pm

Week 3 Tuesday 16 October 9:00–10:00am and 1:00–2:00pm

Week 4 Overseas trip unavailable

Week 5 Tuesday 30 October 1:00–3:00pm

Week 6 Tuesday 6 November 1:00–3:00pm

Week 7 Tuesday 13 November 2:00–4:00pm

Week 8 Tuesday 20 November 1:00–3:00pm

Week 9 Tuesday 27 November 1:00–3:00pm

Week 10 Tuesday 4 December 9:00–11:00am

Week 11 Tuesday 11 December 12:00–2:00pm

Week 12 Tuesday 8 January 1:00–3:00pm

Co-founder and co-organiser of the Leicester Urban Observatory.

Member of the International Advisory Council of the Design Research Society.

Peer reviewer: International Journal of Design, The Design Journal, Journal of Research Practice, Third Text, Bloomsbury Academic, DRS, DRS/Cumulus, IASDR, and AHRC.

Five PhD examinations at University of Reading, Birmingham City University, Sunderland University, Anglia Ruskin University, Plymouth University.

Undergraduate and postgraduate programme external examination roles at University of Leeds, Northumbria University, Bath Spa University, University of Chester.

Inaugural chair of the Graphic Design Educators’ Network.