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Last updated 24th March 2023


Austin Houldsworth is a double graduate of the Royal College of Art. He is an Interdisciplinarity design practitioner, researcher, educator with a focus on critical & speculative design practice within the context of product and interaction.  

Austin works as a lecturer in Product Design at Huddersfield University, associate lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, visiting lecturer at Chester University and the Royal College of Art.  His research and practice strive to leverage change through the application of design within unfamiliar disciplines. Like reimaging and redesigning monetary systems (‘For moneys sake’ 2018).  Building the world’s first prototype human fossilisation machine.  Or recently founding the ‘Intergalactic Space Agency’ at the Eden Project.  

He also runs Ahaaa; a design consultancy that works with industry to develop and run design competitions.  Like the founding of the ‘Future of money design awards’ for Consult Hyperion, V&A, Money2020 and the ‘Creative Insight Awards’ for Worldpay. 

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 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Speculative design
  • Critical Design
  • Monetary & Payment Design
  • Redefinition Design
  • Product Design


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