About Us

We believe small things can have a big impact.

HKD is Houghton Kneale Design Ltd. HKD was set up by Richard Houghton & Kate Kneale in 2000.

Since then we have worked with wonderful creative people to deliver over 120 projects for museums, science centres and heritage sites. Our projects have included everything from site-wide master plans to gallery and showcase design and lots of bespoke exhibits. Our projects can be seen in Singapore, China, UK, India and the USA.

After moving out of London to the seaside town of Margate in 2010 we set up a Community Interest Company (CIC). Marine Studios CIC was a creative space both physical and virtual, used to generate our own R&D projects.

These include GEEK-play events and festivals, Adventures in Comics, new commissions and skill sharing residencies. We continue to work with many of the artists, composers, game makers and writers who have been part of the Marine Studios CIC adventure.

Who We Are

Kate & Rick have an expansive network of long-term colleagues and collaborators who regularly contribute to HKD’s projects. They make sure each project has access to a carefully selected team with the right skills to meet the task at hand. This includes but is no means limited to architects, writers, project managers, designers and game-makers. 

Kate Kneale

Kate Kneale’s work as a designer spans 34 years and includes everything from theatre and television to museums and galleries. Her ability to embed herself in projects by getting under the skin of objects and spaces enables Kate to find the vital thread that makes a subject or a place unique. She often brings radical or new perspectives to familiar stories, and is a dedicated advocate for the communities that the projects she works on serve.

· Participatory design · Partnership working · Conceptual organisation · AV design ·

Richard Houghton

Richard Houghton has over 40 years of design experience, working on projects across the globe and subject matter covering everything from the deep ocean to deep space. Richard thrives when working to make complicated concepts and intangible heritage simple and accessible to audiences of all ages. His ability to communicate complexity through his design of hands-on bespoke exhibits can transform a gallery through a single addition.

· Exhibit design · International Consultancy · Masterplanning · Budget Management ·

Our Reach


HKD has designed and delivered projects exploring the history of the Holocaust and celebrating Jewish culture both historic and contemporary. These projects navigate audiences through the importance and sensitivity of the subject matter through a combination of bespoke exhibits, interactives and artefacts.


HKD has always loved getting stuck into the wonderfully diverse heritage that makes the UK unique.

We have worked in tropical hot houses, cemeteries, gaols, castles, and libraries delivering projects about literature, salt, ballet, conservation, and justice, with many more besides.


HKD has designed 10 galleries for the Singapore Science Centre as well as numerous Hero exhibits and large scale group interactives. As well as consultancy, our other work in Singapore includes the Home Team Academy, a multi agency heritage centre and the City Gallery.


HKD has worked extensively in China contributing to 20 science centres and museums. Our involvement has varied from providing the complete masterplan or gallery design to developing the Hero or Key exhibits for local partners.


HKD has curated and delivered over 50 events exploring games and play in the UK and abroad. Our Saturated Play workshop in Brisbane explored a disruptive approach to exhibits, queues and diversity in museums and science centres.


Chinese, Vietnamese and Middle Eastern ceramic shards told a story of Mozambique’s diverse international heritage.

Uncovering a diverse international heritage


Close work and collaboration with the Dharohar organisation has shaped HKD’s work in India, including consultancy, workshops and a design partnership shaping the new Third Space community centre.


HKD worked with David Chipperfield Architects on a masterplan for the conversion of a Constructivist building by Konstanin Melnikov into a new community based cultural centre and museum.


HKD designed a suite of exhibits to contribute to the visionary Centre for Human Dignity as part of the work of the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem. These exhibits explored issues such as Rights, Responsibilities, Press Freedom and Governance.

Centre for Human Dignity, Jerusalem
Creating the Centre of Human Dignity in Jerusalem

We’ve been part of over 120 great projects around the world

Our Clients

‘a space’ arts
Bath & North East Somerset Council
Belfast City Council
Birmingham Museums Trust
British Library
Coleraine Museum Services
Crafts Council
David Chipperfield Architects
Delapré Trust
Dharohar Charitable Foundation
Dr Chris Stephens
EBT (Shenzhen) Ltd
Foremost (Shanghai) Group Ltd
Forgiveness Project
Fourth Street – Experts in Place
Freud Museum London
Historic Royal Palaces
Holocaust Memorial Center
Hong Kong Leisure and Tourism Board
Journey to Justice
Law Enforcement Academy of Singapore
Lewes District Council, Peacehaven Big Park
Maidstone Museum
National Assembly for Wales
National Museums Liverpool
National Portrait Gallery
National Trust
Northamptonshire County Council
Powell-Cotton Museum
Ramsgate Society
Royal Ballet School
Shanghai Science & Technology Museum
Simon Wiesenthal Center
Singapore Science Centre
The Chamberlain Highbury Trust
The Heather Trust for the Arts
The Salters Company
The Wilson, Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum
Urban Redevelopment Authority
Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium
Windrush Foundation

We produce our own projects too…

Marine Studios CIC

Adventures In Comics


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