Mr Austin Williams


Austin Rhys Williams is course leader/senior lecturer, PG Dip Professional Practice in Architecture at Kingston School of Art; and honorary research fellow at XJTLU University in China.

I am the director of the Future Cities Project, and have written for a range of publications; from the Times Literary Supplement to Top Gear; from the London Property Review to The Economist. I have recently published "Five Critical Essays on Architectural Education".

My latest books are "China's Urban Revolution: Understanding Chinese Eco-cities" (Bloomsbury, 2017) and "New Chinese Architecture: Twenty Women Building the Future" (Thames & Hudson, 2019). My previous books include: "Enemies of Progress", "The Future of Community" and "The Lure of the City". I co-founded the mantownhuman manifesto (featured in Penguin Classics "100 Artists' Manifestos") and I run the Bookshop Barnies (interviews with contemporary non-fiction authors) as well as hosting the Professional Practice Podcasts.

Academic responsibilities

Course Leader


  • BSc (Hons)
  • Dip Arch
  • RIBA Part III
  • Member, Association of Professional Studies Advisers
  • Honorary Research Fellow, XJTLU university, Suzhou, China
  • Associate Fellow, Higher Education Academy

Teaching and learning


  • Williams, Austin. Chapter: "China's Eco Dreams and Green Reality" in Zhang, Fagshu and Wu, Fulong (eds) China's urban environmental governance, Edward Elgar, 2023 forthcoming
  • Williams, A. (2022) Urban Fringe. In Quazi, Z. (ed) Urbanism(s) at Borders, SpringerLink. August 2022.
  • Williams, A. Series Editor, Five Critical Essays
    • Architectural Education, 2021
    • The Crit, February 2023
  • Williams, Austin. (2022) "Growth and the Appropriation of Nature. Left-wing Misanthropy, the Rise of Authoritarianism, and the Pro-Capitalist character of Environmental Discourse" in Lange, Elena Louisa and Joshua Depaolis-Pickett (eds.) (2022) The Conformist Rebellion: Marxist Responses to the Contemporary Left. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (Maryland, US).
  • Williams, A. "Environment & Freedom", Letter on Liberty, Academy of Ideas, February 2021
  • Williams, A. (2022) "The Emerging City: Malawi and China". In Powell, M. (ed) The Climate City, Wiley.
  • Williams, A. (2020) Urban transformation and mobility in Chinese society. In Chen, Chia-Lin et al. Handbook on Transport and Urban Transformation in China. Handbooks of Research on Contemporary China Series. Edward Elgar, March 2020. 
  • Williams, A. (2019) What is Chinese Architecture?. In Lee, R. (ed), Robin Lee Architecture.
  • Williams, A. (2019) Hong Kong-Macau-Zhuhai Bridge, HKIUD Journal of Urban Design, 
  • Williams, A. (2019) Around The World in 80 Minutes. Contributions to tomorrow's mobility, In 80 Minuten um die Welt: Beiträge zur Zukunft der Mobilität, Novo (Germany) 
  • Williams, A. (2018) Fresh Soil: architectural modernism in China, LEAP magazine [pp18-23
  • Williams, A. (2018), Cities of the Future. In The Big Conversation 2019, BDP. pp6-13 ( Accessed 20 August 2019)
  • Williams, A. (2019), New Chinese architects: Twenty women building the future, New York/London. Thames & Hudson 
  • Williams, A. (2018), Eco-cities: Understanding Chinese environmentalism. In Hudson, A, Chinese Urban Transformation: A Tale of Six Cities, London. RIBA Publishing
  • Williams, A. (2017), China's urban revolution: Understanding Chinese Eco-cities", London. Bloomsbury Academic
  • Williams, A. (2017), (ed). Style (in defence of…), Machine Books 
  • Williams, A. (2017), Beyond pragmatism: The pedagogy of the impressed. In Hayes D, Beyond MacDonaldization, London. Pearson. pp115-129
  • Williams, A. (2014), Baiziwan Middle School by Wang Yun, Machine Books, 2014  
  • Williams, A. and Dounas, T. (2012), eds Masterplanning the Future: Modernism – East, West & Across the World, TRG Publications, ISBN 978-1-903094-01-3 
  • Williams, A. (2012), Don't de-carbonise, defenestrate. In One hundred great ideas for higher education, Academic Questions, 100th Issue, Volume 25, Issue 4, Winter 2012, ISSN: 0895-4852; 
  • Williams, A. (2012), ed., The Architectural Review, London. Emap, September 2012 
  • Williams, A. (2012), What is a City? In Littlefield, D. ed, Special Issue: London (Re)generation, AD, Volume 82, Issue 1, January/February 2012, pp66-68 
  • Williams, A. (2012), Fashionable Dilemmas. In Tseelon, E. ed., Critical Studies in Fashion & Beauty, Vol 2, Issue 1, Leeds, Intellect Books
  • Williams, A. (2011) citation, "Who's Who in Research: Visual Arts", Bristol/Chicago, Intellect Ltd, 
  • Williams, A. (2011), ed., The lure of the city: from slums to suburbs, London, Pluto Press. 
  • Williams, A. et al (2011), mantownhuman: manifesto towards a new humanism. In Danchev, A. ed. 100 Artists' Manifestos: From the Futurists to the Stuckists, Penguin Classic 
  • Williams, A. (2010), Corroding the Curriculum: Sustainability v Education. In Sustainability: Special Issue, Academic Questions, NAS, Vol 23, No 1, pp. 70-83
  • Williams, A. (2009) Shortcuts: Book 1 – Structure and Fabric, London, NBS Publishing 
  • Williams, A. (2009) Shortcuts: Book 2 – Sustainability and Practice, London, NBS Publishing 
  • Williams, A. (2008) Enemies of Progress: The dangers of sustainability, London, Societas:Impact 
  • Williams, A. et al (2008) eds. The Future of Community: Reports of a Death Greatly Exaggerated, London, Pluto Press.  
  • Williams, A. et al (2008) Manifesto: Towards a New Humanism 
  • Williams, A. (1999), ed., Transport in the New Millennium London, TRG Publications

Research student supervision


Number of items: 49.


Istrate, Aura-Luciana, Chen, Fei, Kadetz, Paul, Chang, Ying and Williams, Austin Rhys (2021) Developing an analytical framework for liveable streets in Shanghai. URBAN DESIGN International, 26, pp. 3-20. ISSN (print) 1357-5317

Williams, Austin (2019) Extinction Rebellion : the new millenarian cult. Spiked,

Williams, Austin [Reviewer] (2019) Book Review of: 'Pen Zen Diaries' by Peter Magyar. Future Cities Project,

Williams, Austin (2019) Reading between the lines : Changsha library, Hunan Province, China, by Neri&Hu. Architectural Review, 244(1457), pp. 148-157. ISSN (online) 0003-861X

Williams, Austin (2019) Gensler creates a showcase of sustainable design near Shanghai. Metropolis,

Williams, Austin (2018) Authoritarianism, powered by the Cloud. Spiked,

Williams, Austin (2018) From slaughter to laughter : the renovation of a slaughterhouse in Shanghai by IPPR. Architectural Review, 244(1455), pp. 58-65. ISSN (online) 0003-861X

Williams, Austin (2018) Yiwu : the Neo-Liberal city. Urban Design(148), pp. 14-15. ISSN (print) 1750 712X

Williams, Austin (2018) Revolutionizing construction... post-Brexit. Future Cities Project,

Williams, Austin (2018) Genoa : notes on a disaster. Spiked,

Williams, Austin (2018) Lu Wenyu : the emphasis on craft and precision. The Architectural Review, ISSN (print) 0003-861X

Williams, Austin (2018) Labour Live : bread and circuses. Spiked,

Williams, Austin (2018) Yiwu : China's trinket town. Architectural Review, 244(1451), pp. 50-51. ISSN (online) 0003-861X

Williams, Austin (2018) China's shift from urban development to rural reconstruction. The Architectural Review, ISSN (print) 0003-861X

Williams, Austin (2017) No, China isn't going back to Maoism. Spiked,

Williams, Austin (2017) How China transformed its cities from environmental disasters - an what the west can learn. Building Design,

Williams, Austin (2017) REFLEXIVE VERVE. Architectural Review, 241(1444), 46 - 52. ISSN (online) 0003-861X

Williams, Austin (2017) Tsinghua Architecture School extension in Beijing, China by Li Xiaodong Atelier. The Architectural Review, ISSN (print) 0003-861X

Williams, Austin (2017) Back to earth : anti-seismic prototype in Guangming by Edward Ng, Li Wan, Ximan Chi. The Architectural Review, 241(1443), pp. 48-53. ISSN (print) 0003-861X

Williams, Austin (2017) Cultivating the garden : Museum of Intangible Cultural Heritage by Vector Architects. The Architectural Review, 241(1442), pp. 76-83. ISSN (print) 0003-861X

Williams, Austin (2017) West can sneer all it wants, China is in the ecological driver's seat. South China Morning Post,

Williams, Austin (2017) Chapel in Suzhou by Neri & Hu. The Architectural Review, 241(1440), pp. 36-44. ISSN (print) 0003-861X

Williams, Austin (2017) Material rebirth. The emotionally charged work of Liu Jiakun celebrates the vitality of 'everydayness'. The Architectural Review, 241(438), pp. 50-56. ISSN (print) 0003-861X

Williams, Austin (2016) Outrage: 'if memorialisation is everywhere, it becomes mere virtue-signalling'. The Architectural Review, 240(1436), pp. 40-42. ISSN (print) 0003-861X

Williams, Austin (2016) Humanizing the urban fabric. Nature, 537, pp. 614-615. ISSN (print) 0028-0836

Williams, Austin (2016) Frozen music: Erik Satie house in Beijing by Atelier Fronti. The Architectural Review, 240(1433), pp. 82-86. ISSN (print) 0003-861X

Williams, Austin (2016) Seashore Chapel by Vector Architects : 'Each elevation has been designed for aesthetic drama'. Architectural Review, ISSN (print) 0003-861X

Williams, Austin (2016) Shenzhen's Biennale regurgitates Central Party concerns in a festival of restraint. Architectrural Review, ISSN (print) 0003-861X

Williams, Austin (2015) Up the 632m Shanghai Tower by Gensler, second tallest in the world. Architectural Review, ISSN (print) 0003-861X

Williams, Austin (2015) China. The Architectural Review, 238(1425), pp. 46-53. ISSN (print) 0003-861X

Williams, Austin (2015) Reputations: Wang Shu. The Architectural Review, 238(1425), pp. 104-105. ISSN (print) 0003-861X

Williams, Austin (2015) 'This is no Chinese copycat'. The Architectural Review, 238(1425), pp. 56-65. ISSN (print) 0003-861X

Williams, Austin (2015) Steps ahead. The Architectural Review, 238(1424), pp. 70-75. ISSN (print) 0003-861X

Williams, Austin (2015) Reputations : Shigeru Ban (1957- ). Architectural Review, 237(1418), pp. 118-119. ISSN (print) 0003-861X

Williams, Austin (2015) Learning Hub in Singapore by Thomas Heatherwick. Architectural Review, ISSN (print) 0003-861X

Williams, Austin (2015) Micro Organism : Hutong infill in Beijing, China, by Standard Architecture. Architectural Review, 237(1417), pp. 36-45. ISSN (print) 0003-861X

Williams, Austin (2015) Chemical Plant Offices in Huai'an City, China by Alvaro Siza. Architectural Review, ISSN (print) 0003-861X

Williams, Austin (2014) Concrete umbrella. The Architectural Review, 236(1414), pp. 60-63. ISSN (print) 0003-861X


Williams, Austin and Xin, Zhang (2019) New Chinese architecture : twenty women building the future. London, U.K. : Thames & Hudson. 256p. ISBN 9780500343388

Williams, Austin (2017) China's urban revolution : understanding Chinese Eco-cities. London, U.K. : Bloomsbury. 220p. ISBN 9781350003255

Williams, Austin (2015) Modernism. [Place of publication not identified] : Machine Books. 12p. (Style: in defence of...)

Williams, Austin and Dounas, Theodoros, eds. (2012) Masterplanning the future: modernism: East, West & across the world. Transport Research Publications. 268p. ISBN 9781903094013

Book Section

Williams, Austin (2023) Edge town / Che Fang. In: Zaman, Quazi Mahtab and Hall, Greg G., (eds.) Border urbanism : transdisciplinary perspectives. Cham, Switzerland : SpringerLink. pp. 477-485. (The Urban Book Series) ISBN 9783031066030

Williams, Austin (2022) The emerging city. In: Powell, Martin, (ed.) The climate city. Chichester, U.K. : John Wiley & Sons. pp. 57-71. ISBN 9781119746270

Williams, Austin (2020) Mobility and the Chinese dream. In: Chen, Chia-Lin , Pan, Haixiao , Sheng, Qing and Wang, James Jixian, (eds.) Handbook on transport and urban transformation in China. Edward Elgar. ISBN 9781786439239 (In Press)

Williams, Austin (2018) Cities of the future. In: Booth, John , Davies, Martin , Harding, Chris , Jenkins, Marc , McAtarsney, Julianne and Moorhouse, Helen, (eds.) BDP : The big conversation. BDP. pp. 6-13.

Williams, Austin (2017) Beyond pragmatism: the pedagogy of the impressed. In: Hayes, Dennis, (ed.) Beyond McDonaldization: visions of higher education. Abingdon, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 115-129. ISBN 9781138282582

Williams, Austin (2017) Understanding "sustainability" and attitudes of students to the concept of "sustainable development" in China and the UK. In: Issa, Tomayess , Isaias, Pedro and Issa, Theodora, (eds.) Sustainability, green IT and education strategies in the twenty-first century. Cham, Switzerland : Springer. pp. 77-102. (Green energy and technology) ISBN 9783319570686

Moving Image/Broadcast

Williams, Austin [Producer] and Jiang, Hao [Film editor] (2017) Edge Town/Che Feng. (documentary film *Chinese & Englsih subtitles)).

This list was generated on Mon Jun 17 06:32:45 2024 BST.

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