Rigg Design Prize 2018 at NGV | Yellowtrace

 

National Gallery of Victoria has revealed a major presentation that celebrates contemporary Australian interior design, featuring ten bespoke, purpose-built rooms by ten shortlisted Australian interior designers and decorators.

For the Rigg Design Prize exhibition, each studio has been invited to design a purpose-built interior that responds to the 2018 theme of ‘Domestic Living’. NGV has asked each design studio to produce an interior that demonstrates how designers create interiors as forms of communication embedded with values, ideas and stories that directly engage with the cultural, historical, material and technological aspects of society.

The ten participating designers and practices are: Amber Road (NSW), Arent & Pyke (NSW), Danielle Brustman (VIC), Flack Studio (VIC), David Hicks (VIC), Hecker Guthrie (VIC), Martyn Thompson Studio (VIC), Richards Stanisich (NSW), Scott Weston Architecture Design (NSW) and The Society Inc by Sibella Court (NSW).

Melbourne design practice Hecker Guthrie has been awarded the prestigious Rigg Design Prize for 2018, the highest accolade for Australian contemporary design. Lead designers Paul Hecker and Hamish Guthrie created an interior ‘The table is the base’, which celebrates the table as a modest yet powerful object, often pulling and binding people together as they gather around it. Huge congratulations to Hecker Guthrie on their deserving win, and also to all participating Australian designers on a seriously stellar effort.

Before we take a closer look at each of the installations below, I couldn’t resist sharing a quote from Kirsten Stanisich, co-director of the newly launched Sydney-based studio Richards Stanisich, who says – “The Rigg Design Prize is an incredible platform that represents the diversity of Australian interior designers, and helps the general public to understand just how much interior design can affect the way we feel in a space.” Word.

Go Australian Interior Design – GO!

 

The Rigg Design Prize 2018 exhibition is open until 24 February 2019 at Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square. Entry is FREE.

 

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at NGV, Hecker Guthrie | Yellowtrace

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at NGV, Hecker Guthrie | Yellowtrace

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at NGV, Hecker Guthrie | Yellowtrace

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at NGV, Hecker Guthrie | Yellowtrace
Installation view of The table is the base by Hecker Guthrie. Photography by Shannon McGrath.

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at NGV, Hecker Guthrie | Yellowtrace
Designers Hamish Guthrie, Paul Hecker and Josh Watt in front of The table is the base, inside the Rigg Design Prize 2018 at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia. Photo by Eugene Hyland.

 

THE TABLE IS THE BASE by Hacker Guthrie // Hacker Guthrie’s Award Winning concept for Rigg Design Prize 2018 celebrates the table as a modest and unassuming object with an invisible gravitational pull that brings people together and binds them in space. Our domestic lives seem to be perpetually in orbit around this singular object. The table is where we eat, drink, play, gather, converse, work and create. For Hecker Guthrie, the table is a ‘subtle muse’ that inspires bustle, encourages stillness and is a place of reflection and assembly – a domestic totem summoning familiarity.

The intent of this installation is to conjure an emotional, and possibly nostalgic, connection to the table as an object. The controlled, minimal palette allows the many interpretations of the table form to become visible. The designers have set out to transcend the idea of the table as merely objectified furniture by stripping the structure back to its most basic and recognisable form so that aesthetics become secondary.

 

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at NGV, Richards Stanisich | Yellowtrace
Designers Kirsten Stanisich & Jonathan Richards in front of Our natural needs in a digital world, inside the Rigg Design Prize 2018 at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia. Photo by Eugene Hyland.

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at NGV, Richards Stanisich | Yellowtrace

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at NGV, Richards Stanisich | Yellowtrace

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at NGV, Richards Stanisich | Yellowtrace
Installation view of Our natural needs in a digital world by Richards Stanisich. Photography by Shannon McGrath.

 

OUR NATURAL NEEDS IN A DIGITAL WORLD by Richards Stanisich // The human essentials of shelter, sanctuary, hygiene and intimacy have remained largely unchanged for thousands of years, but technology is rapidly altering how we respond to those needs. Digital devices and the Internet of Things have evolved to be integrated and camouflaged into our lives. Their presence is pervasive within our living environments and is changing our sensory responses to the physical and emotional spaces we dwell in. 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 outer layer of this installation is wrapped in black gloss tiles edged
with blue light, representing the intangible dimensions of the digital world. Meanwhile, in the centre of the space, the kitchen, living and sleeping zones are handmade, tactile and textural, their earthy qualities representing our natural needs. The contrast of these two realms represents the convergence and tension between two fundamental aspects of our domestic lives and question whether the digital age, fuelled by a human desire for complexity and innovation, is in turn leading us to yearn for uncomplicated natural simplicity in our physical spaces.

 

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at NGV, Amber Road | Yellowtrace
Designers Katy Svalbe and Yasmine Ghoniem in front of Take it outside, inside the Rigg Design Prize 2018 at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia. Photo by Eugene Hyland.

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at NGV, Amber Road | Yellowtrace

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at NGV, Amber Road | Yellowtrace
Installation view of Take it outside by Amber Road. Photography by Shannon McGrath.

 

TAKE IT OUTSIDE by Amber Road // Take it Outside explores the transitional space between indoors and outdoors, present in many cultures, including our own. The work speaks of its makers’ multiple and shared heritages, and also reads like a list of iconic Australian-ness: a musk stick pink screen, star studded indigo sky, a blistering sunset, rammed earth, lycra, terry toweling, a pair of thongs, an akubra hat, mozzie coils, the hum of cicadas… a space that is pregnant with possibility: imagined stories, multiple layers, lived experiences, hopes and dreams.

 

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at NGV, Arent & Pyke | Yellowtrace

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at NGV, Arent & Pyke | Yellowtrace
Installation view of Home: feast, bathe, rest by Arent&Pyke. Photography by Shannon McGrath.

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at NGV, Arent & Pyke | Yellowtrace
Designers Sarah-Jane Pyke and Juliette Arent and Sarah-Jane Pyke in front of Home: feast, bathe, rest, inside the Rigg Design Prize 2018 at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia. Photo by Eugene Hyland.

 

HOME: FEAST, BATHE, REST by Arent&Pyke // Juliette Arent and Sarah-Jane Pyke believe that humans are increasingly searching for restorative spaces to call home as populations increase and cities engineer themselves upwards and outwards. In response, they have expressed the domestic interior as the ultimate manifestation of soulful wellbeing.

Within the room, the connection between domestic living and emotional and physical wellbeing are explored by looking into what the designers say are the essential needs of the human soul: to replenish (feast), to restore (bathe) and to retreat (rest).

Each area features a contemporary Australian artwork and a bespoke furniture piece that speaks to the archetypal imagery of the space it inhabits. One informs the other, reminding the viewer that a home is a place in which we should find comfort in familiarity and inspiration, and delight in beauty.

 

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at NGV, Flack Studio | Yellowtrace

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at NGV, Flack Studio | Yellowtrace
Installation view of We’ve boundless plains to share by Flack Studio. Photography by Shannon McGrath.

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at NGV, Flack Studio | Yellowtrace
Designer David Flack in front of We’ve boundless plains to share, inside the Rigg Design Prize 2018 at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia. Photo by Eugene Hyland.

 

WE’VE BOUNDLESS PLAINS TO SHARE
 by Flack Studio // This emotionally charged room by Flack Studio is saturated in a gold hue; its opulence reveals that Australia is living in a ‘golden age’ where many have the wealth to create custom interiors and architecture that are a rare luxury when parts of the world are in crisis.

David Flack has created a multilayered interior that honours Indigenous history, while simultaneously celebrating diverse cultures drawn together by migration to make Australia what it is today – a culture of shared identity.

Through art and design in dialogue, the room reflects upon the notion of inclusion and Australia’s unique situation, asking us to look away from the screens that dominate our interiors and outwards to the world, to connect with each other and seize the golden opportunities of our time.

 

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at NGV, David Hicks | Yellowtrace
Installation view of Panic room by David Hicks. Photo by Shannon McGrath.

 

PANIC ROOM by David Hicks // With Panic Room, designer David Hicks explores how our constant exposure to media, both traditional and social, and the dominance of information culture has changed the world. Hicks wants us to think about how the media overload running alongside events in our lives creates a personal ‘reality feed’ that sculpts individuals into who they are and how they live. 
He speculates that the evolution of technology, media and advertising have modified our reality in favour of an aspirational image of a ‘perfect life’. The quest for this perfection becomes increasingly voyeuristic as people craft their own images and willingly put themselves on a stage. This pursuit paradoxically results in overload, ubiquity and banality, not the individuality most are seeking. The personal consequence is that people become socially paranoid and emotionally vulnerable, living a life of fear and anxiety.

 

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at NGV, Danielle Brustmans | Yellowtrace

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at NGV, Danielle Brustmans | Yellowtrace
Installation view of Inner-Terior by Danielle Brustman. Photography by Shannon McGrath.

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at NGV, Danielle Brustmans | Yellowtrace
Designer Danielle Brustman in front of Inner-Terior, inside the Rigg Design Prize 2018 at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia. Photo by Eugene Hyland.

 

INNER-TERIOR by Danielle Brustman //  Inner-Terior proposes an alternate domestic living space that asks if the home can be a more fantastical place. Whilst providing a place of comfort, rest and refuge it also explores new possibilities that transcend conventional domestic confines.

Part conversation pit, part lounge room and part stage, Inner- Terior takes its design cues from the 1980 cult classic film Xanadu, American Art Deco bandshells of the 1920s, 1960’s European futuristic design as well as shapes and materials that recall roller skating rinks and amusement rides of the 1980’s.

 

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at NGV, Martyn Thompson | Yellowtrace
Installation view of Atelier by Martyn Thompson Studio. Photo by Shannon McGrath.

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at NGV, Martyn Thompson | Yellowtrace
Designer Martyn Thompson in front of Atelier, inside the Rigg Design Prize 2018 at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia. Photo by Eugene Hyland.

 

ATELIER by Martyn Thompson // New York City-based Martyn Thomsp explores the somewhat old- fashioned notion of the atelier and how, in the current era of blurred lines between home and work life, this type of space takes on a new relevance and becomes an arena for creative expression.

“It is important that the space generates an emotional response,” he says. “As a photographer by profession my starting point is the light which, complemented with a play of texture and colour, creates an ambiance of calming creativity.”

 

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at NGV, Sibella Court | Yellowtrace
Installation view of Imaginarium by The Society Inc by Sibella Court. Photo by Shannon McGrath.

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at NGV, Sibella Court | Yellowtrace
Designer Sibella Court in front of Imaginarium, inside the Rigg Design Prize 2018 at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia. Photo by Eugene Hyland.

 

IMAGINARIUM by Sibella Court // This redefined room in the home has origins steeped in history and is inspired by sixteenth-century ‘cabinets of curiosity’. These small ‘wonder rooms’ housed collections of objects and invited show and tell, speculation, storytelling and long discussion.

The room is inhabited by a family whose library of life’s souvenirs are displayed on a large feature wall, which acts as their own cabinet of curiosity. The various spaces offer glimpses of the family’s lifestyle and activities.

The Imaginarium is a place to wonder, imagine, interact, research and create. An entire home is distilled into a room whose elements are part real and part imagined. Its foundation materials are from the natural world and are layered with textures and colours that are both ancient and modern.

 

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at NGV, Scott Weston | Yellowtrace
Installation view of Wunderkammer by Scott Weston Architecture Design. Photo by Shannon McGrath.

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at NGV, Scott Weston | Yellowtrace
Designer Scott Weston in front of Wunderkammer, inside the Rigg Design Prize 2018 at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia. Photo by Eugene Hyland.

 

WUNDERKAMMER by Scott Weston // The sequence of six rooms in Weston’s wunderkammer are an abstract representation of Villa Carmelina setup as monochromatic dioramas with coloured highlights. The artwork, sculptures, objects and collectables featured in the wallpaper vignettes are items Weston has gathered throughout his lifetime. Each room features a ‘wunderkammer’ – repository of wondrous, exotic ornaments, materials and finishes.

Within each of these cabinets Weston has displayed prized ‘jewels’ created in miniature form by six of his most admired artist that have inspired the domestic living environment.

 


[Images courtesy of NGV. Installation photography by Shannon McGrath. Portrait photography by Eugene Hyland.]

 

About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor
Google+

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

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