David Nixon is an independent consultant in the space field. He began his career as an architect in Britain and was later among the first handful of architects to work on the American space program from the mid-1980s onwards. His fifty-three year career has covered a range of experience in America and Europe in fields of architecture, industrial design and space design. In the 1970s he worked at several leading London architecture practices, including the office of Sir Hugh Casson and the early offices of Lord Norman Foster, Lord Richard Rogers and Sir Nicholas Grimshaw. In 1978 he founded the avant-garde studio of Future Systems in London with architect Jan Kaplicky with whom he collaborated for a decade on many visionary projects.
In 1980 he moved to California and taught architecture at Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), University of California, Los Angeles and California State Polytechnic, Pomona. At SCI-Arc in 1985 he directed graduate research funded by NASA on full-scale prototype design of crew quarters for the recently-announced Space Station. This led to his growing involvement in the space field as an independent consultant in Los Angeles from 1992. Over the years, he worked on space projects for organizations ranging from government agencies to private companies and start-up ventures. They include NASA, the European Space Agency, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, British Aerospace, Alenia Spazio, McDonnell Douglas, Spacehab, Kistler Aerospace Corporation and Rotary Rocket Company. In 2000 he formed a start-up venture to develop miniature spaceflight products to support STEM education. The first prototype – a portable phone-sized experiment to boost student interest in maths and physics – flew on the European/Russian Foton-3 space mission and the Airbus A310 Zero-G research aircraft in 2007.
David Nixon holds a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Liverpool and a Diploma in Architecture from the Central London Polytechnic. He has received awards and commendations for work in architecture, industrial design and space technology and his projects have appeared in publications worldwide. He has authored many technical papers and reports and the book 'International Space Station – Architecture Beyond Earth' published by Circa Press in 2016, the first fully-researched account of the station's history. The first retrospective exhibition of his work 'Thresholds of Space' took place at the National Technical Library in Prague in 2014. He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and a Senior Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.