Opun | Design East Midlands

Get to know us

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Who we are

Opun is the trading name for Architecture East Midlands Ltd – we are a charitable company limited by guarantee. We are managed by a Board of Trustees and supported in our delivery by a Panel of built environment experts - as practitioners leading in their profession they offer a range of services, that includes design review but also a host of other design support interventions. As we are not-for-profit our charitable offer is in securing design uplift through design review, promoting best practice through education and community benefits in our design support services.  

As an independent provider, we believe in the value of good design and creativity and are passionate about engaging people with their built environment. Opun supports the Place Alliance through better collaboration and communication across England. The Design Network aligns us with neighbouring organisations in other English regions – Design: South East, MADE, Creating Excellence, Places Matter! and Integreat +.


What we do:

We work with decision makers, design, planning and regeneration professionals, communities and young people to improve the design of the built environment. We put high value on the contribution excellent design, culture and creativity bring to making places which are distinctive, places where people can enjoy living and working and have pride in.

Opun manages the East Midlands Design Review Panel and offers a range of other services, enabling and neighbourhood planning, training, inspirational visits and tours, talks, events and professional networking opportunities for anyone interested in the design of new or regenerated buildings and places.

OPUN Architecture East Midlands is a registered charity 1143920.

Meet the team


Julie tanner
Opun Chief Executive

Julie manages Opun’s corporate affairs and specialises in place making interventions including BFL12, engagement and neighbourhood planning. Julie is a Chartered Town Planner (MRTPI) with experience in change management, planning policy, economic development, place making and regeneration.


Dharmista Patel
Opun Design Support Services

Dharmista manages Opun’s Design Review Panel specialising in the promotion and recognition of design quality, providing timely design and engagement interventions across a range of projects. Dharmista is a Chartered Town Planner (MRTPI) with experience in development management, conservation, regeneration and urban design.


Angus Walker
OPUN Funding Advice

Angus Walker manages Opun’s finances and provides support for funding and grant applications. Angus is a qualified accountant with a background in housing, training, education, youth work, health, criminal justice, the arts and the community.



Garry manages Opun’s urban design and training support including BFL12, planning support and other design interventions including Space Syntax. Garry is a qualified urban designer with experience in plan making, place making and community engagement.