Artist & designer, Austin Houldsworth
has used the cultural context of B.F. Skinners’ Walden Two to invent an alternative monetary system called WALDEN-NOTE MONEY
. Walden-note money is a payment system designed to challenge the established monetary function of ‘a store of value.’
In 1948, behavioural psychologist B. F. Skinner published Walden Two, a utopian novel set in an experimental community of about one thousand people who all live, eat and raise their family in common. The functioning of the Walden Two community is guided by behaviourist principles, and its members are conditioned to be productive, creative and happy. If there is evidence that a new social practice (not saying "thank you", for example) will make people happier, it is implemented and its consequences are monitored.
During every transaction the seller is obliged to aid the buyer in the destruction of their money equal to the cost of the service or object he/she is purchasing. Through the destruction of money, musical notes are created which are linked to the coins denomination. For example a C is 1 Walden-note, a D is 2, an E is 3 and so on; these notes have two main functions. Firstly the pleasant sounds created help to positively reinforce this behaviour and secondly the burning money communicates the economic state of the society to the 'managers and planners'.
Walden-note Money is part of a 3 year research project, which focuses on the development of a new design methodology called counter-fictional design.
Born 1983 in Macclesfield, England, Austin Houldsworth
is a researcher at the Royal College of Art, Design Interactions department and co-founder of the FOM design awards.
His work takes an experimental approach towards design; often leading to the development of new methodologies that generate alternative perspectives and challenge the status quo.
is an exhibition programme taking place solely in the unique window exhibiting space of AirSpace Gallery. Seen daily by hundreds of passers-by, works in this window are commissioned largely through open calls for emerging practitioners, and for artists wishing to test and experiment with new works.