Chair of India, head of urbanism
Francis leads the urbanism sector, the town planning profession across the practice and is involved in housing development. He is also a main board director and chairs the Indian studio.
Francis has been involved in developments from city visions to the remodelling of ‘sink’ estates - from Scunthorpe to Malaysia. He is currently a member of an INTA Peer Review Panel invited by EPADESA (the Urban Development Corporation for La Defense/Seine Arche in Paris), undertaking a review of the development strategy for the La Defense and Seine Arche district of Paris. Other panellists include representatives and government officials from Canada, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.
Francis believes that the key contribution that urban designers and planners can make is giving social, economic and political factors a voice in the design process, and in delivering real design opportunities to the rest of the practice.
What is your biggest personal influence?
Geography. Everything there is to know – integrated through the medium of space. Urban design is a technique – geography is a science.