Ryder Team Exchange


Nick Dean and Fran Tafi are the latest team members to return from recent secondments through the Ryder Alliance, Ryder Team Exchange. Nick left i2C’s Melbourne studio and headed over to Ryder Architecture in Liverpool exchanging places with one Fran for three months. We asked them to share their thoughts on their experiences.


From the first few days in the office I already started to feel part of the team. Having such a friendly and collaborative culture, much the same as back home at i2C, made the transition to Ryder so much easier. I feel as though I’ve made some great friendships and great connections for the future.

Straight away I fell in love with the historical architecture and the rich history that is evident within many of the buildings – something that we aren’t exposed to in such a young country like Australia. I couldn’t believe it at first, but Liverpool has 2,500 listed buildings! Of which 27 are Grade I and 85 are Grade II listed.

I don’t think I can narrow it down to just a single highlight. I was lucky enough to go on exchange while Ryder was holding their 2017 Blueprint (team weekend) which brought the whole company together in Newcastle. I really enjoyed the weekend because I was able to learn about Ryder as a company and its origins, as well as their range of projects that they have designed across the health, education and residential sectors. Blueprint was also great as it provided me with an opportunity to get to know the Liverpool team outside an office environment.

A huge part of my time overseas was travel. On weekends I was always out and about trying to see as much of the UK as I could within the few months I was there.

It’s an incredible opportunity to work and live in a new country and experience a totally different culture and style of architecture than what you’re used to. For me the exchange was not only about professional growth but also personal growth as well, as it took me out of my comfort zone and gave me a new perspective.


I loved experiencing a new country through the eyes of international people. Melbourne is a melting pot of multiple cultures and you could easily tell by its architecture, accents, food and people.

Fran Tafi on the Ryder Team Exchange

This experience offered me something different. New issues, questions and points of view that will never leave my professional life. Everything thank to patient, passionate, friendly and available colleagues who introduced me a different world, making this experience live up to my expectations and beyond.

Architecturally, I enjoyed the brutal architectures at the Mona Museum and Tarra Warra Winery. Simple lines and cuts in natural and rough materials reached the highest level of drama and beauty.

Fran Tafi and some of the i2C Melbourne team at Tarra Warra Winery

There were so many unforgettable moments, like endless walks without destination allowing the town to reveal its hidden gems; hiking, Tassie and its beautiful colours; coffees; pretending to understand a footy match; the night market; shouting in a car as you spot your first koala risking a car accident; Melbourne’s music; the blisters after the thousand steps; meditation in the office; the Carbonara challenge; the silly happiness in washing your hands in the Rialto tower; kick-start the morning with a gin tasting; starfishes, penguins and dolphins with the city skyline as background; a passer-by wishing me peace and love.