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NGV's Remarkable New Exhibition Celebrating Australian Interior Design

Exhibition

The Rigg Design Prize is the highest accolade for contemporary design in Australia. Running every three years, in 2018 they’ve decided to shake things up!

Today we take you through this INCREDIBLE exhibition – it’s more like touring 10 fantastical homes, designed by 10 of Australia’s best interior designers, in one convenient place!  This free exhibition opens tomorrow at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia.

11th October, 2018

The Rigg Design Prize 2018 Exhibition opens at NGV Australia tomorrow. Installation view of Inner-Terior by Danielle Brustman design studio. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Elle Murrell
Thursday 11th October 2018

In the first major presentation of contemporary interior design in the NGV’s history, the Rigg Design Prize 2018 exhibition brings together 10 leading Australian interior designers and decorators, who have each created a purpose-built room within the gallery.

The designers involved and shortlisted for the $30,000 prize include Amber Road, Arent & Pyke, Danielle Brustman, David Flack, David Hicks, Hecker Guthrie, Martyn Thompson Studio, Richards Stanisich, Scott Weston Architecture Design, and The Society Inc by Sibella Court. Find out who won here!

So glad we’re not choosing, because they’ve all created some seriously exceptional spaces in response to the 2018 theme: Domestic Living. ‘The Rigg Design Prize 2018 recognises the central role that interior design plays in our lives and reflects the NGV’s commitment to elevating the cultural value of contemporary design in Australia,’ tells NGV’s Director Tony Ellwood. ‘The participants’ concepts are thoughtful reflections of interior spaces and their ability to shift perceptions and tell personal stories of place and identity.’

Taking place every three years, the Rigg Design Prize was established in 1994 and is the generous legacy of the late Colin Rigg, a former Secretary of the NGV’s Felton Bequests’ Committee. Previously known as the Cicely and Colin Rigg Contemporary Design Award, it was originally focussed on Victoria, but went Australia-wide in 2015. Past winners include Neville Assad (1994), Robert Baines (1997), Louise Weaver (2003), Sally Marsland (2006), Simone LeAmon (2009), Marian Hosking (2012) and Adam Goodrum (2015).

Rigg Design Prize 2018 Exhibition
October 12th to February 29th, 2019
Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia
Level 3, Contemporary Art & Design
Federation Square, Victoria
Free entry

Talks
Designing Interiors
Saturday, October 13th, 2pm
Rethinking Design and Interiors: Shashi Caan
Saturday, October 13th, 5pm

Take it outside by Amber Road design studio. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Take it outside by Amber Road design studio. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Take it outside by Amber Road design studio. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Amber Road Design

Amber Road Design’s Take It Outside explores the transitional space between indoors and outdoors, present in many cultures, including our own.

It reads like a list of iconic Australian-ness: a musk stick pink screen, star-studded indigo sky, a blistering sunset, rammed earth, lycra, terry towelling, a pair of thongs, an Akubra hat, mozzie coils, and the hum of cicadas!

Installation view of Home: feast, bathe, rest by Arent&Pyke. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Home: feast, bathe, rest by Arent&Pyke. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Home: feast, bathe, rest by Arent&Pyke. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Arent & Pyke

Juliette Arent and Sarah Jane Pyke have created Home: Feast, Bathe, Rest in response to our increasing search for restorative spaces to call home, as populations increase and cities engineer themselves upwards and outwards.

They’ve expressed the domestic interior ‘as the ultimate manifestation of soulful wellbeing’ creating zones that are essential to replenish (feast); restore (bathe); retreat (rest). Each area features a contemporary Australian artwork and a bespoke furniture piece in reference to these three ideas.

Inner-Terior by Danielle Brustman design studio Australia est. 2012 On display in the Rigg Design Prize 2018 at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Inner-Terior by Danielle Brustman design studio Australia est. 2012 On display in the Rigg Design Prize 2018 at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Designer Danielle Brustman in front of her Inner-Terior installation on display in the Rigg Design Prize 2018. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Danielle Brustman

In her Inner-terior Danielle Brustman asks if the home can be a more fantastical place! Still a place of comfort, rest and refuge, her space is part conversation pit, part lounge room and part stage.

The room takes its design cues from the 1980 cult classic film Xanadu, American Art Deco bandshells of the 1920s, 1960s European futuristic design as well as shapes and materials that recall roller skating rinks and amusement rides of the 1980s.

Panic Room by David Hicks. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

David Hicks

Renowned for his distinctly bold, high-gloss, high-end interiors, David Hicks’ design for Rigg is a satire on the all-pervasive nature of social media and its impact on our home lives.

‘My design for Panic Room ultimately asks the audience to reflect on how a relentless exposure to social and traditional media has infiltrated our personal lives,’ explains David. ‘Panic Room appears as a rigid fortress, where people can lock themselves away from the unrelenting public eye. Ironically, as the audience views the room, they have unwillingly inserted themselves in the private life of the homeowner who is seeking seclusion.’

Designer David Flack in front of his installation We’ve Boundless Plains to Share. Photo – Eugene Hyland.

We’ve Boundless Plains to Share by Flack Studio. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Flack Studio

Flack Studio’s room, We’ve Boundless Plains To Share, highlights that Australia is living in a ‘golden age’ where many have the wealth to create custom interiors and architecture, AND that this is a rare luxury when parts of the world are in crisis.

Multilayered, the interior honours Indigenous history, and celebrates the diverse cultures that have made Australia – ‘a culture of shared identity’. Drawing on verses in the Australian national anthem it asks Australians to question the modern meaning of ‘We’ve boundless plains to share’.

The Table Is The Base by Hecker Guthrie design studio. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

The Table Is The Base by Hecker Guthrie design studio. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

The Table Is The Base by Hecker Guthrie design studio. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

The Table Is The Base by Hecker Guthrie design studio. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Hecker Guthrie

For Hecker Guthrie The Table Is The Base! Their room celebrates the table as a modest and unassuming object, but one that has ‘an invisible gravitational pull that brings people together and binds them in space’.

The installation invites you to feel an emotional, and possibly nostalgic, connection to the table as an object. In a controlled, minimal palette, the space allows the many interpretations of this table form to become visible.

Atelier by Martyn Thompson Studio. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Atelier by Martyn Thompson Studio. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Atelier by Martyn Thompson Studio. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Martyn Thompson

Martyn Thompson Studio’s room explores the notion of the Atelier and how there are blurred lines between home and work life in our contemporary society.

Being a photographer by profession, Martyn’s starting point is light, which, complemented with a play of texture and colour, creates an ambience of calming creativity.

Our Natural Needs In A Digital World by Richards Stanisich. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Our Natural Needs In A Digital World by Richards Stanisich. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Richards Stanisich

‘Digital devices and the ‘Internet of Things’ have evolved to be integrated and camouflaged into our lives, yet their presence is pervasive and changing our sensory responses to the physical and emotional spaces we dwell in,’ explains design duo Jonathan Richards and Kirsten Stanisich.

Their room, Our Natural Needs In a Digital World, considers how impacts (like exposure to blue light from screens, the isolation of sound by headphones and continued exposure to new imagery) have changed the way we interact with objects, and our rituals and relationships.

The room’s outer layer is wrapped in black-gloss tiles edged with blue light, while the kitchen, living and sleeping zones are handmade, tactile and textural. The contrast of these realms represents the tension between these two aspects of our domestic lives and they question whether ‘the digital age is in turn leading us to yearn for uncomplicated natural simplicity in our physical spaces’.

Wunderkammer by Scott Weston Architecture Design. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Wunderkammer by Scott Weston Architecture Design. Photo – Eugene Hyland.

Wunderkammer by Scott Weston Architecture Design. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Scott Weston Architecture Design

Not one room, but a sequence of six is what Scott Weston Architecture Design has delivered! Wunderkammerare is ‘repository of wondrous, exotic ornaments, materials and finishes’.

An abstract representation of Villa Carmelina set up as monochromatic dioramas with coloured highlights, it features wallpaper vignettes of artwork, sculptures, objects gathered by Scott throughout his lifetime. There is also a display of prized ‘jewels’ created in miniature form by six artists inspired by the domestic living environment.

Imaginarium by The Society Inc by Sibella Court. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Imaginarium by The Society Inc by Sibella Court. Photo – Eugene Hyland.

Imaginarium by The Society Inc by Sibella Court. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Sibella Court

Sharing its name with her latest book, Sibella Court’s Imaginarium room is steeped in history, inspired by sixteenth-century ‘cabinets of curiosity’, and manages to distill an entire home into one space.

‘Inhabited’ by a family, a souvenirs library is displayed on a large feature wall, offering glimpses into their  lifestyle and activities – the steel-framed curved-glass wall of an alchemy workshop, a whimsical crow’s nest from a ship, a bar, a playful dress-up cupboard, a pot-belly stove, a custom dining table that doubles as a research station, and a transitional bed and lounge.

‘Every object – whether found, new or fantastical – is a catalyst to memory and imagination,’ tells Sibella.

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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 – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.