Click to enlarge
Festival of Architecture 2017


1 of 2
Rebecca Rudolph and Catherine Johnson, the two women behind Design, Bitches.

Rebecca Rudolph and Catherine Johnson, the two women behind Design, Bitches.

2 of 2

The Festival of Architecture takes place from 7–17 September and is the successor to Architecture Week, which was a mostly Auckland-based series of events that was successfully run for many years by the NZIA Auckland Branch with the support of other like-minded professional and industry organisations.

This year’s Festival of Architecture sees the scope and ambition of Architecture Week widened, with events and activities designed to celebrate architecture – and its importance to the life of New Zealand’s towns and cities – scheduled for Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, as well as other regional centres.

The 2017 programme is comprised of a range of mostly free activities: speakers, tours, exhibitions (including Future Islands, New Zealand’s 2016 exhibition at the Venice Architecture Biennale), open studios, design competitions, political debates (it is election year, after all) and workshops.

Highlights around the country include:


  • Central City New Building Tour. 9 and 16 September, 10am–noon.


  • The Housing Crisis Panel. Thursday 7 Sept, 6–8pm. LT1 School of Architecture. Affordable, secure housing and sustainable future-proof cities are a huge concern in New Zealand with its homelessness, growing and aging population. Hosted and chaired by Guy Marriage (Senior Lecturer, Building Science, School of Architecture, VUW),and featuring: Geoff Simmons (The Opportunities Party), Marama Fox (Maori Party), Phil Twyford (Labour), Shamubeel Equab (economist, social commentator, writer and housing issues expert) Garry Moore, former Mayor of Christchurch, now working for the Community Housing Trust in Christchurch and on Board of Community Housing Aotearoa).
  • National Association of Women in Construction photography exhibition. 7–17 September Resene Thorndon, 77 Thorndon Quay. The quest for non-heroic architecture and understanding the ways that gender contributes to the shaping of architects and architecture.


  • DHT Architour. 9 September 10.45am–1pm. Architour is a historic and architectural kerbside tour of Tauranga houses built in the period 1847 to 1990, with coffee and muffins served en route.


  • Green Building Walking Tour. Saturday 9 Sept 10am – noon CBD. Downtown Auckland has more than 30 Green Star rated buildings – among NZ’s best sustainable commercial design. This tour will take you inside some key buildings where architects and clients will share their experience and stories about the buildings – from design to the day to day operations and their visions for the future.
  • Exhibition Opening: Imagining a new future: How Biotechnology and Artificial Intelligence can change the way we live. 9, 10 Sept and 16, 17 Sept. Silo 6, Wynyard Quarter. Take a look at examples of future-focused architecture and design that incorporates the latest developments in biotechnology, smart technologies and alternative reality technologies, such as augmented and virtual reality.
  • From the Waste Up. Tuesday 12 Sept, 6–8pm, Sustainable Coastlines Flagship, 35 Madden Street, Wynyard Quarter. This lively event explores solutions to one of our major global issues: waste. From the role of architects to Council initiated waste minimization strategies via the domestic realm, 3 groups of speakers from different backgrounds will share their plans, views, hopes and means to live and work collectively as responsible world citizens.
  • Tamaki Makaurau Hikoi with Pita Turei. Saturday 16 September, 12.30–2pm. With a background in dance, theatre and film, Pita Turei has become known as a noted story teller and respected orator connecting a new generation with the ancient histories of Tāmaki Makaurau. Come and join him for a walking tour around Auckland’s CBD and the waterfront.
  • The Homesick Blues Debate. Wednesday 6 September, 6.30pm, Owen Glenn Building, Auckland University. If Auckland’s population doubles in the next 25 years, where – and how – will we all live? How interlocked is the housing shortfall with immigration? Hear Phil Twyford (Labour), Julie-Ann Genter (Green Party), Denis O’Rourke (New Zealand First), Damian Light (United Future) outline their positions on housing provision, affordability and quality at this event compered by Rod Oram.

As part of the festival, Los Angeles-based architects Catherine Johnson and Rebecca Rudolph, co-founders of Design, Bitches, will present a series of free talks in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

The Festival of Architecture would not be possible without the generous support of principal sponsor dormakaba, international speaker sponsor GIB and major sponsors Rider Levett Bucknall, The Warren Trust and Warren and Mahoney.

Check out the website here for more information and the full programme.

More events

PrefabNZ CoLab 2018

PrefabNZ CoLab 2018

7 Mar 2018 → 9 Mar 2018
Public Event
PrefabNZ’s CoLab 2018 conference takes place 7–9 March in Auckland, featuring site visits and international speakers.