MIPIM celebrates 30th birthday

A new concept; new venue; new content; MIPIM, the world’s largest property summit, has hit a huge milestone this year as the event celebrates its 30th birthday –with the theme engaging the future.

The four-day convention takes place in Cannes, France every year, and welcomes the most influential business leaders and industry experts, from around the world, as well as featuring speakers and panels that identify the most important issues impacting the property market of today and the future.

The prestigious convention took place last week and typically attracts around 23,000 visitors every year. Hundreds of real estate professionals whose passion is to understand the property market and exploit its potential, gather alongside brokers, investors, occupiers, landlords and business services. This is a fantastic event and is networking at its highest level.

The winner of this year’s Startup Competition is Spaceti, a PROPTECH products that helps to improve building environments and boosts productivity and profitability. Spaceti provides integrated solutions through its own sensors that interact with mobile devices to map how building environments can be improved. Founded in 2016, the company has already been established in New York, Stockholm and London. Six finalists made it to MIPIM after competing in heats all around the world, during MIPIM PROPTECH Europe, New York and Asia in 2018.

One of the most important issues that has recently shot up on the real estate agenda is healthcare, and the search for alternative investments with the rise of our aging population. Dr Pritpal S Tambar, CEO and Co-Founder of Bridging Health and Community spoke on a panel that addressed how to shift from a cure-orientated approach to healthcare.

For more information on the event, visit MIPIM’s website here.

Planning Permission | Your Questions Answered

What is it?

Planning permission refers to the need for “formal permission from a local authority for the erection or alteration of buildings or similar development.”

It is your responsibility to seek planning permission and if required, it should be granted before any work begins.

When do you need it?

Chances are, you’ll need planning permission if you want to any of the following:

  • build something new;
  • make a major change to your building – for example, building an extension;
  • change the use of your building – for example, from a commercial to a residential building or vice-versa.

In some cases, planning permission isn’t required – these types of works are known as ‘Permitted Development’. You can find out more about permitted development here.

If you’re unsure whether or not you need planning permission, it’s a good idea to contact someone who can advise you. This could be your local authority (or an architect!).

How do you get it?

Planning applications are usually made online these days and can be submitted through the Planning Portal.

It is usually a good idea to seek advice on your plans before submitting an application. Gaining valuable advice can:

  • reduce the likelihood of your plans being rejected;
  • help you to understand the process;
  • help you to understand how planning policies and other requirements might affect your application.

Planning permission can be granted in different forms and it is important that you apply for the correct consent, otherwise you risk your application being invalid.

What do I need to submit?

As part of your application for planning permission, you will need to submit:

  • Plans of the site;
  • Supporting documentation;
  • A completed application form;
  • The correct fee (depends on the type of planning permission you are asking for).

A combination of mandatory documents will be required – some are a national level requirement and others are local.

What happens after I’ve submitted my application?

Once you’ve submitted an application, it is up to the local authority to review it. They may contact you for further information if they need it.

Do you need help with a planning application?

Get in touch with one of our team today to discuss your project and find out how we can help. Call us on 0116 251 0606 or fill out our contact form and we’ll get back to you.

National Storytelling Week: Paula’s Journey into Architecture

National Storytelling Week is almost over and we’d like to share the story of one of our team, Paula. Here’s her journey into the world of architecture…

“My initial interest in architecture was related mainly to the curiosity of knowing how people relate and react with different spaces, colours and textures, their necessities, and how this can change from time to time (in a society, culture, etc…)

This interest led me to study architecture and urban design at university in Brazil. During my studies I was fortunate to gain experience in interior design. I also did some voluntary work at a local hospital, which led to my interest in health projects.

After graduating in 2014, I worked for a company that developed schemes exclusively for the public sector, which gave me experience with institutional projects such as health, residential, landscape and administrative offices. During my time at this company I helped to supervise an office with a small team of 10 employees from disciplines including engineering, architecture and topography. I enjoyed the opportunity to give presentations at council meetings, which helped to develop my confidence. Whilst working for this company I was also carrying out some interior design projects for clients of my own on the side!

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In June 2016 I moved to England, where I applied to join Design Studio Architects. During my time here so far I have had the opportunity to be involved in several residential schemes including student accommodation, house extensions, flats and new buildings.

Working with Design Studio Architects has given me a better insight of the private sector – as I used to work with councils I never used to deal with clients directly, so being in touch with the clients and having to develop schemes for their needs is what I’ve been developing the most. I’ve learned the process on how to get the projects approved, accommodating both the client needs and those of the council guidance/planning officers.”

National Storytelling Week – Our Story

Since this week is National Storytelling Week, we decided we’d like to share with you the story of our journey, from our foundation in 2013, to where we are now.

Design Studio Architects was formed in 2013. The directors have both come from experienced roles with well established architect practices, such as Pick Everard and leading housing developer (Bloor Homes) to create a design led commercial practice which trades on the reputation for efficient design and delivery. The practice initially ran from a small office in the city centre and relocated back in 2014 to its current location off Upper New Walk.


The biggest challenge for any emerging architect studio is always to find good clients and interesting projects to work on. As a young practice it can be difficult to get your first break. We are lucky that we have found some really exciting projects by building on our existing network of contacts. The practice gained RIBA Chartership in 2014 and expanded the team from 3 to 9 in our first three years and plan to build to over the next few years.


Our philosophy is to work without preconceptions to ascertain the unique qualities of each brief, taking into consideration the social, environmental, economic and technological context.

We are deeply curious about how thoughtful design can make people feel, and the positive impact it can create, whether it’s a comfortable and functional place for someone to live or something more magical


We’re keen to explore new areas and are in early discussions with various sectors to increase our project types in 2018.