Austen studied architecture at the Edinburgh College of Art, achieving a Bachelors’ degree in Architecture, before going on to complete a Masters in Architectural History and Archive Management as the University of Lincoln. He has published articles on architectural history in books and magazines, and has also contributed photographs to other publications. He has an interest in historic architecture and has been a committee member of the Georgian Society for East Yorkshire since 2009.

Austen joined Francis Terry Associates in 2023 after working for architectural practices of various types and genres; he spent sixteen years with Francis Johnson and Partners who were, until their closure, the most significant traditional practice in the north of England.

His experience on working with Classical plans and details makes him useful to the team as an architectural technician, working with CAD. His knowledge of architectural history allows him to contribute text to documents for planning and listed building applications.

"My interest in architecture was originally piqued by the civic buildings of Bolton, particularly the Crescent where my father worked. As a student I went on to research the Bolton architects Bradshaw Gass & Hope, who were one of the leading English firms of the 1930s, and eventually contributed an article to a festschrift for John Archer entitled 'The Making of Manchester'.

"Photography has been a longstanding hobby of mine, generally of architectural and landscape subjects. I was taught by my father who worked as a photographer for the Police. I used to develop and print my own black and white films before moving to digital media. I also record videos and since the beginning of the 2010s I have been presenting an annual 'Review of the Year' at the AGM of the Georgian Society for East Yorkshire.

"In my career as an architectural assistant, I worked on the refurbishment of various large private houses and stately homes including Euston Hall in Suffolk. I am very pleased to now be working for one of the leading traditional architecture practices in the UK."