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Mr Darren Francis

Lecturer in Psychology

DevResearchCentre, Psychology

I am a lecturer in the School of Psychology, I teach on the Introduction to Freud module

    Overview Text

    Creativity has always been a passion for Simon. His early career as an artist gave Simon a breadth, and knowledge, of working and collaborating at various scales.

    Having trained in Fine Art, he moved from Liverpool to London in the mid 1980s to embark on a Masters at the Royal College of Art. His passion for video and mixed-media art forms led to a number of exhibitions and works that addressed social and community based issues. The 80s gave birth to a wave of new artists engaged in making video shorts and his work thrived in a mix of social change and technological development.

    He created video works and then music for a number of Channel 4 documentaries utilising the latest sampling technology that would eventually give birth to the revolution in video and music production.

    He came to prominence as a creative interactive artist exhibiting in major galleries around the world. Most notably he was shortlisted for the Imaginaria Award in 1998 and received many commissions including work from the Wellcome Trust that same year.

    As an academic he created the first MA Creative Technology programme in the UK for the University of Salford, aimed at bringing together technologists and artists.

    In 2000 he embarked on a new role at the International Centre for Digital Content as Head of Research, developing creative new media solutions across a number of technologies within cultural, creative and commercial sectors.  In 2003 he became Director of ICDC and led new initiatives in incubation, research and academia.

    The move to Uclan in 2007 started a whole new chapter for Simon. As founder of Sandbox, he led an elite team of technologists, creatives and facilitators to a unique proposition.  The client base and impact was significant, working with everyone from large public sector and global consultancy groups to local communities.

    Throughout his career, Simon’s core values and principles are maintained by building and empowering people which requires integrity, trust and respect with all parties. Simon believes that true innovation is the ability to build teams that work together in a creative way to find solutions to real problems.
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