About Design West

Design West brings together the best expertise from across the built and natural environment sectors. Independent and not-for-profit we work collaboratively with the development sector and decision-makers to shape better places.

The Architecture Centre has joined forces with Creating Excellence to extend our services across the entire South West, with bases in Bristol and Exeter. 

We provide design review, policy support, consultation and training for the South West. Find out how we can support you.

Meet The Team

  • Julie Tanner

    Julie Tanner

    Head of Planning & Design South West

    Julie Tanner BSc, DipTP MRTPI manages the Design Review Service for the South West & is based near Exeter.

    Julie is a chartered Town Planner with a background in economic development. She combines a passion for architecture & urban design with a specialism in placemaking, & believes a design-led method will support better quality places through the planning system. Julie is an active RTPI Regional Activities Board Member for the South West & is a member of the High Street Task Force.

    Julie specialises in working with large-scale new communities, infrastructure & public realm projects as well as individual buildings of strategic importance & aims to support efforts to ensure planners can be braver & bolder in shaping future places.

  • Pippa Goldfinger

    Pippa Goldfinger

    Head of Design

    Pippa programmes our monthly public talks & manages the Design Review Service for Bristol, B&NES & North Somerset.

    Pippa is passionate about shaping better places for people. She originally graduated in Civil Engineering with Architecture & enjoys working alongside architects & other built environment professionals creating exhibitions & events which illuminate the work that they do.

    With a background in urbanism & an MSc in Urban Planning, Pippa is interested in bringing forward best practice in planning & urban design through harnessing professional design skills & combining them with innovative community engagement. She is a member of the Academy of Urbanism & previously served as a Town Councillor & Mayor of the award-winning Frome Town Council.

    Favourite building: The awe-inspiring interior of the Pantheon in Rome (concrete can last for ever!) but also the beautiful domestic design of my grandparents’ house 2 Willow Road.


Design West has proven extremely beneficial. The Design Review panel is run effectively and the panel members have good subject knowledge and insight which has aided our proposals as we’ve moved through the planning process.

Kevin Hunt, Director – JLL

Design West acts as a critical friend to the council, providing design review on a regular basis alongside policy and strategy review. The panel members’ wide ranging expertise helps the council make robust and well balanced decisions and is an excellent resource for officers & members to draw on.

Cllr Nicola Beech, Cabinet member for Spatial Planning and City Design – Bristol City Council

Thanks to Design West for today’s design review of our next phase of Finzel’s Reach on the former Avon Fire HQ plot. Good positive feedback and well-received critiquing of our scheme.  It makes for better schemes.

Gavin Bridge, Director – Cubex