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Announcing The Rigg Design Prize Nominees


It is no surprise to see so many of our favourite faces in this stellar line-up for the 2018 Rigg Design Prize! This triennial award recognises excellence in contemporary Australian design, and this year celebrates the field of interior design and decoration through the theme of Domestic Living.

The winner of this prestigious award will be announced in early October at the launch of a special exhibition at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, but in the meantime, we have provided a quick ‘cheat sheet’ for this crème-de-la-crème list of Australian interior designers. Although, with such esteemed names, do they really need any introduction?!

2nd May, 2018

Arent & Pyke’s Willoughby House project. Photo – Felix Forest.

Arent & Pyke’s Willoughby House project. Photo – Felix Forest.

Arent & Pyke’s Pyrmont Apartment. Photo – Tom Ferguson.

Arent & Pyke’s Bronte House. Photo – Felix Forest.

Sarah-Jane Pyke (left) and Juliette Arent (right). Photo – Nikki To.

Arent & Pyke

Juliette Arent and Sarah Jane Pyke formed Arent & Pyke in Sydney in 2004. With their small team, this dynamic duo have created some of Australia’s most distinctive and beautiful homes and hospitality venues, gathering countless accolades along the way.

Amber Road Design’s project Deco House. Photo – Lisa Cohen.

Amber Road Design’s The Garden at The Lord Dudley. Photo – Prue Ruscoe.

Sisters Katy Svalbe and Yasmine Ghoniem of Amber Road Design. Photo  – Terence Chin.

Amber Road Design’s The Garden at The Lord Dudley. Photo – Prue Ruscoe.

Amber Road

Amber Road Design is the studio of sister and co-directors Katy Svalbe and Yasmine Ghoniem. The Sydney based duo combine their skills in interior and landscape design to create a distinctive style  a of bold colour, a hint of decadence, and the promise of adventure – which captures ‘the art of living simply. Inside and Out.’

Project by nominee Danielle Brustman. Photo  – Emma Jane Johnson.

Interior designer Danielle Brustman. Photo – Courtesy of NGV.

Studio by The Stylesmiths with Danielle Brustman. Photo – Nicole England courtesy of NGV.

Danielle Brustman

Danielle Brustman is a Melbourne based freelance interior designer, who incorporates innovative art and performance into her design practice. Danielle’s work introduces an element of the unexpected into the world of interiors, for bold outcomes, and a sense of spectacle!

David Hick’s St Kilda studio. Photo – Eve Wilson.

David Hicks. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Project by David Hicks. Photo – Courtesy of NGV.


Renowned for his distinctly bold, high-gloss, high-end interiors, David Hicks‘ name has become synonymous with modern Australian luxury.

David launched his own design studio in Melbourne in 2000, and in the years that have passed since then he’s won numerous accolades and awards. David’s style is modern, with detailed attention to materials and super sleek finishes. There is both a sense of grandeur, and an incredibly considered livability in David’s interiors.


Flack Studio’s project South Yarra Residence. Photo – Courtesy of NGV.

Flack Studio’s Moor Street Studio project. Photo – Courtesy of NGV.

Flack Studio’s Caravan Hapejong cafe in South Korea. Photo – Sharyn Carins.

David Flack. Photo – Caitlin Mills.

Flack Studio’s second Caravan project. Photo – courtesy of NGV.


David Flack, of Flack Studio is a Melbourne based interiors whiz, (and recent guest on our TDF Talks Podcast !). Flack studio creates vibrant, energetic and innovative interiors which don’t shy away from bold colour and texture. David’s interiors are both playful, and highly resolved spaces.

Hecker Guthrie’s project Mitchelton Hotel. Photo – courtesy of Hecker Guthrie.

Hecker Guthrie’s project Polperro. Photo – courtesy of Hecker Guthrie.

Hamish Guthrie and Paul Hecker. Photo – Christine Francis.

Hecker Guthrie’s project The George. Photo – courtesy of Hecker Guthrie.

Hecker Guthrie

Melbourne based interior design firm Hecker Guthrie are one of Melbourne’s best known and most respected interior design firms. This local powerhouse who have been delivering truly remarkable interiors across residential, retail, hotel and hospitality projects for almost 20 years!

Under the direction of Paul Hecker and Hamish Guthrie, the multi-disciplinary practice is recognised for their informed attention to detail , inventive introduction of eclecticism, and sophistication execution.

Textiles and soft furnishings by Martyn Thompson in his SoHo studio. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Martyn Thompson for Perennials rugs 2018. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Martyn Thompson’s Prince Street loft, New York City. Photo – courtesy of Martyn Thompson.

Martyn Thompson. Photo – courtesy of Martyn Thompson.

Martyn Thompson’s Jacquard collection 2016. Photo – courtesy of Martyn Thompson.

Martyn Thompson

Marytn Thompson, of Martyn Thompson Studio is a double-threat photographer and designer, originally from Sydney and now based in New York. Martyn’s multidisciplinary practice creates richly tactile interiors which are driven by a love of crafstsmanship  and the interplay of nostalgia and contemporary design.

For a greater insight into Martyn’s remarkable practice, revisit our (very old) video with him, here!

Scott Weston’s project Uptown Ivy Hair Salon. Photo – Nick Watt.

Scott Weston’s project Open Haus. Photo – Nick Watt.

Scott Weston’s project Bellevue Hill Residence. Photo – Nick Watt.

Scott Weston. Photo – Lauren Bamford.

Scott Weston

Scott Weston Architecture Scott Weston Architecture is a Sydney based design practice, with an established Australian pedigree, established in 1997! Scott Weston is particularly recognised for his inventive ‘zing’ of colour and furnishings, and his playful relationship between historic and contemporary aesthetics.

Sibella Court’s project Blaxland Road. Photo – Anson Smart.

Sibella Court’s project Palisade Hotel. Photo – Anson Smart.

Sibella Court. Photo – David Hutton.

Sibella Court

Sibella Court is a human bowerbird for trinkets, treasures and treats – as evident in her store The Society Inc . The Sydney based designer has a distinctive aesthetic , which is confident and rich – informed by her travels, a bohemian flair and a strong sense of narrative.

SJB’s Léo Terrando and Ljiljana Gazevic (co-founder Andrew Parr pictured below). Photo – Dave Wheeler.

SJB’s project Darlinghurst Residence. Photo –courtesy of SJB.

SJB’s project Parr House. Photo –courtesy of SJB.

SJB’s co-founder Andrew Parr. Photo –courtesy of SJB.

SJB’s project Darlinghurst Residence. Photo –courtesy of SJB.


SJB are based between Melbourne and Sydney, and are a multi-disciplinary design firm. Their style is imaginative and innovative, while retaining a strong emphasis on ‘comfort and delight.’ Clever pops of colour bring a distinctive edge to SJB’s interiors.

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email