SAT 25 NOV 2023

7AM -12PM


IFAD Crest

Three events in one day.
Choose one or attend them all.
Celebrating regional architecture & design innovation.

Join us for the Illawarra Festival of Architecture & Design, a family-friendly event that showcases the best of regional architecture and design innovation.

Our festival offers a unique opportunity to explore the latest trends in design and construction, and to connect with other design enthusiasts from around the region.

An early morning start launches the Festival with the Archibike ride. Riders will journey from Scarborough to Austinmer, pausing by the beautiful homes that have shaped our community to learn more.

This is followed by a collection of house tours in the northern Illawarra. Get a sneak peek into these homes and meet the architects and builders behind them.

In the afternoon, bring your family and friends along to Buckaroo Leatherworks, Bellambi. We invite you to a series of panel discussions from our industry’s finest in the Illawarra. Young kids will be entertained with games and a dedicated childcare professional, while you can sit back and relax over a bevvy or nibbles for sale at the Festival.

All profits from the Festival panel discussion feature to be donated to ‘Supported Accommodation & Homelessness Services Shoalhaven Illawarra (SAHSSI).


Join us to enjoy time with Deborah Hutton, one of Australia’s most loved design and interior media personalities from ‘Living with Deborah Hutton’ and ‘Home with Deborah Hutton'.
Deborah Hutton
Deborah Hutton
Learn more from Illawarra local and famed Australian-inventor and renewable electricity advocate, Saul Griffith. He’s cast a national spotlight on our area with the Electrify 2515 project.
Saul Griffiths
Saul Griffith
We invite you to learn from esteemed Margie Rahmann, Co-Director of Illawarra multi-disciplinary architecture studio, Edmiston Jones, about their Merrigong Theatre Company and Wollongong City Council project.
Margie Rahmann
Margie Rahmann
Tameka Moffat's local award winning multi-disciplinary design studio has won acclaim for projects across NSW. Here she will share an insight or two from works that range from multi-residential, high end residential, commercial, hospitality, corporate and retail projects.
Tameka Moffat
Tameka Moffat
Dane’s recent project, Butterfly House, headlines the Illawarra Festival of Architecture & Design. Learn more about the inspiration behind this renowned local home.
Dane Taylor
Dane Taylor
Director & Architect
Dane Taylor Design
Co-Director of local design firm, TomMarkHenry, former winners at the World Interior News Awards, Cushla McFadden will inspire with insights into pushing boundaries of design and expectation.
Cushla McFadden
Cushla McFadden
Director & Interior Designer
You wouldn't find a project in Australia that has won as many awards in 2023 than Pepper Tree Passive House, and it’s right here in the Illawarra. Learn more from its owner and builder, Adam Souter.
Adam Souter
Adam Souter
Director & Builder
Souter Built
As Director of Birdblack Design, Sarah Nolen has defined a uniquely meticulous aesthetic. Learn how Sarah and her team translate their skills to encapsulate the personality and wishes of their clients.
Sarah Nolen
Sarah Nolen
Director & Interior Designer
Birdblack Design
Barnacle Studio is a favourite with The Local Project. Hear from Morgen Figgis about the homes he builds which are acclaimed for their delicate consideration of context and composition.
Morgan Figgis
Morgan Figgis
Director & Architect
Barnacle Studio
Hear more of Alex’s inspiration behind his project, Coledale Avenue, which earned him acclaim as winner of the 2022 TIDA Australia Designer New Home of the Year.
Alex Urena
Alex Urena
Director & Designer
Alex Urena Design Studio
Greensmith & Co. is synonymous with creative and considered homes in the Illawarra. Campbell Smith will share his acclaimed build-philosophy and approach.
Campbell Smith
Director & Builder
Greensmith & Co.
Learn how Edward and his Illawarra cyclist community are changing community spaces in the Illawarra and advocating for those with a disability.
Edward Birt
Edward Birt
COO of the Disability Trust
Bicycle Mayor of the Illawarra


Archibike Ride

Archibike ride
Tickets limited to 25 cyclists

Discover the hidden architectural gems of the stunning northern Illawarra on an unforgettable bike tour through charming seaside towns, ocean bridges, and along the shimmering coastline. Our guided architecture tour is the perfect blend of adventure, culture, and exercise.

Led by festival director, Ben Wollen and the Bike Mayor of Wollongong, Edward Birt, you’ll gain fascinating insights into the design behind each architectural gem you encounter, with the odd quirky abode too. Learn some things about the architects who shaped them as well as what makes them particularly special. 

Setting off from Stanwell Park Village and meandering our way south, passing over 15 homes, the tour will end in Austinmer just in time for the Open House tour (in case your thirst for architecture hasn’t been quenched yet!).

House Tours

House Tour
Tickets limited to 20 people

For a Grand Designs-esque tour of three homes, enjoy a leisurely morning in the northern Illawarra. Owners have been gracious enough to open their doors to our community for a behind-the-scenes exclusive tour from three local architects and builders behind these exceptional projects. These buildings reflect much of the innovation in our local architecture and design industry.

The Festival has handpicked three homes: one in Coledale, another in Austinmer, and the last one in Thirroul. They are a short drive apart, or you might prefer cycling. Their locations are under wraps for now and will be revealed to ticket holders. Rest assured, you will enjoy the opportunity to peek behind the curtains of these remarkable residences and meet the brilliant minds who brought them to life.

Meet and Greets

Festival Feature: Panel Discussions
Tickets limited to 100 people

An afternoon of panel discussions with the local industry's best. Meet with local suppliers that feature in some of the Illawarra's finest architectural projects.

Bring the kids along too. We’ve a trained child care professional so they’ll have fun too, while you enjoy some grown-up time.

Hosted at the Bellambi Buckaroo Leatherworks, which has a Design Studio and Gallery Space inside. It sits alongside Barrell Shepherd bar, where you might also enjoy a drink while listening to speakers or a hot snack from our food truck.

Panel 1: Our Interiors Insight
Enjoy reflections from a panel of the Illawarra’s favourite interior designers.

Panel 2: Our Architectural Renaissance
Meet the architects and builders changing the Illawarra one home at a time.

Panel 3: Shifting perspective on community.
Let’s debate how we build capacity in our community spaces.

UTS Architecture Feature
UTS Students to display their project works on Corrimal Coke Works. Meet the students whose inspiration inspires events like ours.

Follow us on socials

Meet the panelists, see the projects, catch the buzz.

Panel Presentations

Click either button to download presentations in PDF.


We thank those who have invested in this community with their support for the Illawarra Festival of Architecture & Design.




Charity Partner


The Creative Directors and engine behind the Illawarra Festival of Architecture & Design

The Venue

Open Studio &
Gallery Space

Buckaroo Leatherworks,
16 Bellambi Lane, Bellambi, NSW

IFAD will be held at Buckaroo Leatherworks, in Bellambi, close to Bunnings. Inside the warehouse is the Open Studio & Gallery Space. Enter either from the front of the complex on Bellambi Lane, or drive round the corner and enter from the back, on Pioneer Rd. The back entrance adjoins the boutique bar, Barrel Shepherd. We’ll set aside a dedicated family-friendly space for the kids to play while you enjoy your afternoon.

Buy Tickets

Please note the venue has limited capacity, and we expect it to sell out. Don’t miss out!

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Our Co-Directors are all Illawarra locals, drawing from varied industries which all support our building industry. Each of our Directors have spent their careers working to help us forge greater connections with the homes and buildings in which we spend time. It’s no wonder our Directors wanted to unite others with this passion in our community.

With so little opportunities in the Illawarra to encourage this curiosity among architecture and design enthusiasts, the answer proved obvious. And so, the Illawarra Festival of Architecture & Design was imagined, and with it we hope to bring together a new insight into the meaningful ways to build in the Illawarra.

IFAD Directors
Roxanne Journet, Penny Keogh, Ben Wollen and Madelina Kalpou.

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