David James Crow

Professor David James Crow 1963 – 2022

Born and raised in Galashiels with younger siblings Janette and George, David studied at Galashiels Academy until 1981 where his favourite subjects were Art, Music and sports. On leaving the Academy, he initially started as an apprentice architect at Camerons Architects in Galashiels before going to study BA Design for Communication Media at Manchester Polytechnic, which later became Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).

David then worked as a designer for Assorted iMaGes and as Art Director for Island Records before running his own consultancy. As a freelance designer, his clients in the cultural sector included Rolling Stones Records, Virgin Records, Phonogram and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

David made the move into academia in 1993, joining University College Salford as a Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design. He became Head of the Department of Graphic Arts at Liverpool Art School, part of Liverpool John Moores University, completing his MA Communication in the same year, again at MMU.

In 2004, David returned to MMU as Head of Design before rising to Pro-Vice Chancellor in 2009 where he later commissioned the RIBA award winning Benzie building, celebrating the design heritage of the North West. David also wrote two key academic textbooks – Visible Signs and Left to Right.

In 2016, David joined University of the Arts London (UAL) as Pro Vice-Chancellor & Head of Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges of Arts. He established an innovative new vision and structure for the three colleges, putting in place Schools of Art, Design and Performance as part of his ‘Creating New Histories’ strategy. The strategy embedded live project work within the curriculum and enabled broader interdisciplinary collaboration between students. He went on to relaunch Wimbledon College of Arts as a centre for performance in 2019, with actors, performers and theatre-makers working alongside theatre, set, costume and technical arts designers.

Although David’s family and professional life was split between Manchester and London, he never forgot his roots. David returned to Galashiels every year, and he would always remark on any changes in the town since his last visit.

David was always passionate about inclusive education for all. David died suddenly after a short illness in June 2022 and is sadly missed by all those who loved and respected him. A tribute to him can be read at the following link – A tribute to David Crow | UAL (arts.ac.uk)

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