Feria Urbanism is a dynamic, award-winning design studio. We deliver local change by making community aspiration the foundation of our activity. This is enabling and gives people a voice in the design of playful, multifaceted places that enhance local ecologies and community life. We use a range of digital and real life tactics to engage local knowledge, hopes, and collective dreaming.

Our active local research provides a strong foundation to confidently write city vision documents, neighbourhood plans and urban strategies. This active approach to co-created design also informs our design work on parks, public gardens, squares, civic spaces, and public art commissions, where we have an active interest in play and ecology.

Feria Urbanism is a small agile team. We work with a close network of architects, engineers, landscape designers, social media managers, film makers and digital innovators. We are comfortable leading projects or working in collaboration with a larger team.

Richard Eastman

Richard Eastham

BSc (Hons) MA (Urban Design) Dip UP (Dist) MRTPI AoU
Founding Director

Richard is an urban designer and urban planner with extensive experience in the preparation of design strategies and development frameworks. He has particular expertise in engaging with local communities to help shape and influence emerging spatial strategies.

Richard is a member of three design review panels, a recognition of his skills and wide experience. He has also been nominated as one of the four most inspiring people in the planning and design profession by the Royal Town Planning Institute’s 2015 Young Planner Survey. He has led the preparation of urban framework plans for Liverpool, Hemel Hempstead, Preston, Weymouth, and Bexleyheath. He has also led on the production of neighbourhood plans for community groups in Kent, Hampshire, and East Sussex. He has specific experience in the design and planning of the after dark city. Richard is a visiting tutor on the architecture course at the Arts University Bournemouth and an urban design teaching fellow at the University of Southampton.

Prior to establishing Feria Urbanism, Richard was an associate director at Terence O’Rourke in Bournemouth, before becoming a director at New Masterplanning in Poole. He was born in Preston, Lancashire and trained at the University of Sheffield, the University of Manchester and Oxford Brookes University.

Jennie Savage

Jennie Savage

BA (Hons) MA Fine Art
Creative Director

Jennie is a public artist, teacher, and communicator, and has been working across the UK and internationally for over twenty years. Her extensive experience of developing public art, both through community engagement projects and permanent sculptures, has given her significant insight into urban developments and how communities think. Jennie’s skill set connects her broad understanding and academic interest in urban redevelopment and town planning with her extensive experience of working with communities, as an artist.

She has developed a public art practice that maps tacit community knowledge to create works that find focus around community agency and co-creativity. Jennie applies a process of close listening to communities whilst conceptualising overall projects to articulate ideas, allowing our team to fully engage with the public. One of her primary areas of academic interest is community-led design processes, considering how public spaces might be built in response to collective experiences.

Since 2009, Jennie worked as a tutor on the fine art course at Chelsea College of Art (University of the Arts London). She also teaches on the architecture course at the Arts University Bournemouth where she works with Richard. She has published several books on urban development, including “Nutopia: Envisioning Future Cities” (University of Plymouth Press).

Henrike Johanson

Henrike Johannsen

BA (Hons) Architecture
Practice Associate

Henrike trained at the Arts University Bournemouth where she studied architecture. Her main interest is in the creation of practical and enjoyable spaces for human habitation. Her work and ideas are influenced by the different ways in which people engage with one another in the places where they live, work, play and visit. She is an active member of our team and supports our project work across all disciplines.

Henrike helps to undertake extensive studies of project sites and their surrounding context. This allows our team to develop the most appropriate design response. These assessments are often in rural areas, where she has worked with Richard on several neighbourhood plans that seek to preserve the countryside setting of smaller villages. She has also undertaken research in towns and cities, seeking to uncover how key aspects of urban life function at both street level and at a strategic scale.

She provides desktop research findings for our major projects, including those that involve rewilding and woodland planting schemes as well as research into urban planning policy. Henrike is skilled in the use of illustration software and creates engaging 2-D maps and 3-D drawings that help communicate our design and planning ideas to a wider audience.

Testimonials

“Thank you for facilitating tonight’s meeting, it felt very positive and hopeful for Darwen and we both felt that you are very much the right team to take this forward for the town”

“Really enjoyed the focus group… I felt really pleased to be involved”

Feedback from participants in our 2020 Darwen Digital Focus Groups

“I would like to thank the consultancy team for their efforts in delivering this excellent piece of work in such unprecedented times”

Cllr Kathleen Becker, Chair of Winchester Town Forum on the Winchester 2020 – 2030 Vision Report

“Faversham Town Council has asked me to thank you on its behalf for your hard work and professionalism which you applied to the development of the Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Plan following the statutory consultation. Members of the town council who attended the examination were impressed with your measured and forensic approach to the all the challenges presented by other representatives and, from time to time, by the examiner”

Jackie Westlake OBE LLB CiLCA, Clerk to Faversham Town Council

“We would like to pass on our thanks for the tremendous support you and your team have given to us over several years, which has now provided the Loose Parish with a statutory document which will serve the people of Loose for many years to come. Your professional commitment and knowledge provided an excellent working relationship through the required processes, and we are very grateful for your help and advice along the way which has been invaluable. Thank you. All good wishes to you and your team for the future”

Loose Parish Council Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group

“Thank you to you and your team for your expert guidance and hard work on the Staplehurst Neighbourhood Plan, all leading last Thursday’s splendid referendum result. I know we in the Neighbourhood Plan Group have really enjoyed working with you and valued your professional advice as we navigated the sometimes tricky obstacles along the way!”

Mick Westwood, Parish Clerk, Staplehurst Parish Council

“The Knowle West Forum would like to say thank you for all of the help you provided, we especially appreciated the patience and good humour you all brought to the situation; and the ability to challenge and bring a fresh perspective. We would like to wish the team, the company and yourself every success for the future”

Len Wyatt, Secretary to the Knowle West Area Neighbourhood Development Forum, Bristol

“First and most importantly, what a fantastic team you are! Thank you all so much for all your hard work last week. It must have been a gruelling few days! Your guidance was fantastic, and you were all so brilliant at making people feel welcome and at home with the team and helping us to contribute to the process. We can’t imagine we could have had a better group to help us!”

Joy & Chris Austen, Hawkhurst Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group

“The Three Day Design Forum has been an overwhelming success and to date only positive feedback had been received all round. The process had facilitated individuals to look again at the parish in a different light. Genuine new ideas and approaches were brought to the fore. The energy levels had been high on all three days. Local residents had been impressed by the Feria Urbanism team’s knowledge and understanding of the locality. A cross section of the community of all ages had participated”

Staplehurst Rural Settlement Group, Minutes of the 16.10.13 meeting

“We commissioned Feria Urbanism as they impressed our board with their presentation, which represented the culmination of a lengthy and rigorous tendering exercise. The team quickly grasped our needs and the team members worked with us to produce the template for a master plan within a very tight time frame. Their commitment to the project was unequivocal and they demonstrated a level of research into the locality that opened the directors’ eyes to the long term potential of our site”

Louise Studd, Halesworth Campus Ltd, Director & Chief Executive

“The Feria Urbanism team was impressive and professional when consulting with the wider public. The team quickly assimilated the needs of the potential stakeholders of the campus and adjusted their plans accordingly. Flexibility is, indeed, one of Feria Urbanism’s key strengths”

Erik Wilcock, Halesworth Campus Ltd, Director & Vice Chair

“Great job. Thanks to you and the team for all your careful thought and thorough preparation. Very pleased with the overall reaction”

Mark Smith, Director of Tourism & Corporate Communications, Bournemouth Borough Council

“I want to compliment you and your team for the two workshops in Bournemouth. I have been to quite a few public consultation events, but none has been so well organised, presented, and well- run as yours. I learnt a lot. Keep up the good work!”

Alan Tulla, Lighting Designer

“Congratulations to you and your excellent team for organising these two Bournemouth events. Because of the way in which the workshops were designed, I found a ready ear for positive ideas both among other delegates and facilitators. I also noticed that between the first and second event, these ideas were reflected in the material presented back to us to develop further”

Lindley Owen, Consultant in Public Health NHS Bournemouth & Poole

“What impressed me most about Feria Urbanism’s performance was the excellent stakeholder workshop carried out as part of the process”

Mike Cockburn, City Centre Manager, Liverpool City Council

“The Stanley Street report is exceptional; the best report of its type I have seen in recent years. I firmly believe that Feria Urbanism have produced something special that will have a very positive impact on the future of the city”

Councillor Nick Small, Cabinet Member for Employment and Skills, Liverpool City Council

“Richard has delivered several urban design lectures to the LJMU Architecture Society in recent years. His latest lecture was on several Feria Urbanism projects that address town centre regeneration and new urban extensions. We had some really positive feedback on his lecture, especially from 2nd year and 6th year architecture students. They said how relevant his talk was to their current projects and how it inspired them in terms of narrative and visualisation. His lecture was very well received”

Lucy Helliwell, Chair of the Liverpool John Moores University Architecture Society

“Richard was an engaging and creative Lead Facilitator for the Our Town project at St Peter’s School. His expert knowledge in the field of urban design and town planning professionalised the project for the students and inspired them to think critically and be creative. Richard had an excellent manner with the students, who responded well to him and as a result, produced a very high standard of work”

Kristina Broughton, Archives Learning Officer, The Dorset History Centre

“We wish to congratulate the Feria Urbanism team on their thorough and comprehensive report. It is a superb representation of our area and will surely go down in history as the first document to fully comprehend how Kentish rural settlements work in the early 21st Century”

Councillor Jackie Cassin, Langley Parish Council

“Richard was lead author for our important Weymouth After Dark report. We now have an inspirational road map for the future of our town at night”

Kate Hindson, Community Manager, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council

“I have received some very positive feedback … 100% of delegates felt your conference presentation was excellent — this is the first 100% score this year!”

Jean Marshall, Chair, Royal Town Planning Institute (South West)

Awards and Associations

About Our Name

We chose the name Feria because it reminds us about all the things that makes us tick. That the things we do away from work inspire and nurture our creativity just as much as our professional experiences – the places we see, the people we spend time with, the bike rides we take. All of this is essential.

Feria is the Latin word for “free day” and in ancient times, was a day on which the people, especially the slaves, were not obliged to work, and on which there were no court sessions. Gradually, these days became used for markets, social gatherings, and celebrations.

The word is used today in Latin countries to describe the “fair” – the market, the circus, or the festival – those events that transform urban space for one day, for one night, forever: something out of the ordinary, bringing people together, raising spirits and leaving a memorable impression.

We hope we do the same.