Rigg Design Prize 2018

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2018’s inspiring Rigg Design Prize celebrates 10 of the best Australian interior design practices

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Interiors gets their hour in the sun at the 2018 Rigg Design Prize exhibition at Melbourne’s NGV Australia, which runs until 24 February 2019. Celebrating different contemporary design disciplines, the triennial prize focused on interior design and decoration for the first time in 2018, shortlisting 10 leading Australian practices. Each was tasked with creating a bespoke, purpose-built room in the gallery, responding to the theme of ‘Domestic Living’. The results are inspiring, suggesting fresh ways of inhabiting our homes, new trends and creative solutions to modern pressures. Even if you can’t get to Melbourne, check out our round up the 10 designs below…

HECKER GUTHRIE
Melbourne design practice Hecker Guthrie (aka Paul Hecker and Hamish Guthrie) bagged the AU$30,000 triennial prize for their graphic yet tactile installation ‘The table is the base’ (above). Riffing on the idea of the humble table, and its charismatic central role in domestic living spaces, the custom-made room plays with clean lines, form and scale. It explores the table as surface, support and enclosure. Judge Shashi Caan said, ‘Using only two elements – the simple form of the ‘Parsons’ table and terracotta as material – the project demonstrates the power of design restraint and curiosity at play.’


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MARTYN THOMPSON STUDIO
New York-based Australian photographer and designer Martyn Thompson’s space celebrates the ‘Atelier’, channelling the modern blurring of work and home life as an opportunity for creative expression. Bathed in light and shadow, his moody space features many of his own designs – including upholstery textiles, rugs, ottomans, wall treatments, ceramics, art and photos shown alongside collaborative, vintage, found and hand-crafted pieces. Even Thompson’s records, shoes and fleamarket finds make the cut. Clothes are hung like artworks and ambient music generates emotion. Flexible and ever-evolving, this is the home as heartland, layered, textural and deeply personal.


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DANIELLE BRUSTMAN
Like a chic spaceship or cool club, Danielle Brustman’s installation ‘Inner-Terior’ is somewhere we’d like to hang out. It helps that it stars a contemporary update of a cocooning, conversation pit and a futuristic record player (shown above right). A set designer before founding her Melbourne studio, Brustman drew on theatrical aesthetics for this curvy white space, edged with vibrant colour, glossy metallics and eye-catching illuminations. A lounge room that borrows from stage and spectacle, it takes its cues from Art Deco bandshells, European retro-futurist designs from the 60s, 80s movie Xanadu, rollerskating rinks and amusement rides. We reckon it’s 2001: A Space Odyssey gone domestic.


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THE SOCIETY INC BY SIBELLA COURT
Stylist and author Sibella Court, of Sydney interiors store The Society Inc, has always had a love affair with global curios, vintage finds, old tools, pirates and gypsies. For her Rigg Prize entry, dubbed the ‘Imaginarium’, she envisaged a space to ‘wonder, imagine, interact, research and create’. An entire home distilled into a single room, it feels darkly magical, with a rich mix of materials from pressed metal to wood and fabric. Layers of textures and colours, old and new, and real and imagined offer a modern take on a 16th-century ‘cabinet of curiosities’. The space celebrates craft, with displayed objects, including a striking feature wall, acting as a catalyst for memory and imagination. From an alchemy workshop to a ship’s crow’s nest, a bar, dress-up cupboard and pot-belly stove, it’s a mini world of wonders.


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RICHARDS STANISICH
Texture rules in the mesmerising tone-on-tone sculptural installation crafted by Richards Stanisich, titled ‘Our natural needs in a digital world’. The Sydney practice, established in 2018 by former SJB talents Jonathan Richards and Kirsten Stanisich, addresses our fundamental need for shelter, sanctuary, hygiene and intimacy and how it has been transformed by integrated technology and the Internet of Things. A central ochre living, sleeping and kitchen space champions the handmade, simple and earthy, with natural fabrics, ceramics and tiles. By contrast, it’s surrounded by black gloss tiles edged with blue light, representing the digital realm.


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FLACK STUDIO
Melbourne interior architecture firm Flack Studio has a way with vibrant colour, bold pattern and unexpected details, as seen in their striking portfolio of residential spaces, cafes, restaurants and boutiques. For the Rigg Prize, David Flack and his team ‘Flackify’ their living/dining space with saturated gold hues, luxe textures and quirky art and ornaments. ‘We’ve boundless plains to share’ references diversity and inclusion, creating an emotionally charged room for a golden age in Australia, encouraging collaboration and community.


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ARENT&PYKE
Elegance and beauty are at the heart of ‘Home: feast, bathe, rest’ by Sydney interior design studio Arent&Pyke (Juliette Arent and Sarah-Jane Pyke). The smartly zoned space combines areas for dining, washing and retreating, offering ideas for respite and emotional and physical wellbeing in a stressful world. Each area includes a contemporary Australian artwork and a bespoke piece of furniture, blending inspiring design-art with comforting, restorative simplicity.


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AMBER ROAD
Sydney interior design and landscape practice Amber Road’s seductive space ‘Take it outside’ is full of burnt colours, floaty textiles and dreamy desert and starlit views, centred around an inviting lounger. It celebrates the verandah or porch as a key transitional zone for relaxing and chatting together, especially in Australian homes. Principal designers and sisters Yasmine Ghoniem and Katy Svalbe spent time in the Middle East, as well as on their family farms in Australia, capturing this heritage in a beautifully crafted indoor-outdoor room.


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DAVID HICKS
Have homes become inner sanctums, fortresses or vessels for consumerist ideals? Melbourne- and LA-based David Hicks studio presents ‘Panic room’, combining Hicks’ trademark eye for luxe detail with lighting strung on chunky chains and threatening screens. It’s a slick satire on our panicked, media-saturated times, suggesting a life on stage, voyeuristic and yet paranoid about threats from outside. Has the aspirational ideal of a perfect life morphed into homes as psychological retreats and cocoons for self-protection?


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SCOTT WESTON ARCHITECTURE DESIGN
A sequence of six rooms forms ‘Wunderkammer’, an installation by Sydney-based Scott Weston Architecture Design which takes its cue from the renovation of Weston’s own Victorian Italianate terrace house, Villa Carmelina. Each contains a cabinet, or wunderkammer, featuring prized ‘jewels’, miniature artworks by favourite makers. An abstract representation of the house, it makes use of monochrome dioramas with coloured highlights and wallpaper vignettes or ornaments and collectibles.

Catch the Rigg Design Prize 2018 at Level 3, NGV Australia, Federation Square, Melbourne until Sunday 24 February 2019 (10am-5pm) or see the gallery’s website for a virtual tour and online interviews with the designers

At Home: Modern Australian Design

Sydney's Old Government House has been given a magical contemporary twist with 'At Home', an inspired exhibition of modern Australian design

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

We love a ramble through a stately home, but for antiques plus attitude don't miss brilliant show 'At Home: Modern Australian Design', taking over Sydney's Old Government House in Parramatta until 22 January 2017. Hosted by the National Trust and curated by eagle-eyed design editor David Clark (who formerly helmed Vogue Living), it places hand-picked contemporary objects by over 60 of the country's leading designers cheek-by-jowl with historic pieces, exploring the nation's domestic aesthetics. The result is a marriage made in style heaven, with cutting-edge furniture, lighting, textiles, wallpaper and accessories both complementing and contrasting with the original interiors, making you look at them in a fabulously fresh light.

TOP: Adam Goodrum's vibrant aluminium 'Stitch' chair (2008) for Cappellini beside his wood and Marbro 'Broached Colonial Birdsmouth' table (2011) for Broached Commissions in the Old Government House dining room. Vert Design's 2016 digitally modelled, milky-white versions of Lucien Henry's 19th-century 'Waratah' decanter and 'Protea' cups perch on the table

ABOVE: Sarah King's leather-like carbon-fibre 'Carbon Wingback' chair (2009) in the governor's office, flanked by Daniel Emma's mixed-media 'D.E Desk' accessories (2010). Laundry marker on lino artwork 'The day a white man gave a black man (his) land' (2006) by Joan Ross hangs on the wall

For an atmospheric arrival, take the ferry from Circular Quay up the Parramatta River, then walk to leafy Parramatta Park where Old Government House oozes venerable charm. The 'country home' of the first 10 governors of New South Wales, from 1799 to 1855, it's Australia's oldest surviving public building, a convict-built World Heritage site and host to a significant collection of late Georgian furniture. But the period drama really amps up once you go inside, with the exhibition's subtle and striking juxtapositions of iconic, recent and new Australian designs inserted into hallways, lounges, dining room, bedrooms and even the kitchen. 'I hope it demonstrates the more expressive edge of contemporary Australian design,' says Clark. 'The hybrids and curiosities, the bespoke and beautiful, the exuberant, quirky and odd.'

ABOVE: Louise Olsen's handmade resin 'Liquid Moon' side table (2016) in 'Seaweed Malachite' for Dinosaur Designs, with toile artwork by Cloth's Julie Paterson; Korban/Flaubert's sculptural stainless steel 'Armour' screen (2012) in the hall, complemented by chequered floors

The kernel for the show sprang from the 2011 'Broached Colonial' collection by Melbourne design studio Broached Commissions, which included work by Adam Goodrum, Charles Wilson and Trent Jansen and riffed on colonial Australia. Clark was keen to see the pieces in the context of Old Government House, alongside other modern designs. While some contemporary items have a colonial feel – from decanters and tea sets to sleekly crafted wooden chairs – others are digitally produced, streamlined products that bring 21st-century bang to the building's vintage buck, or draw on radical materials including salvaged car parts, carbon fibre and glossy resin.

ABOVE: Curves in all the right places – created especially for the exhibition Fred Ganim's Belgian oak 'Plane' table (2016), with Japanese black stain, sits below the swirling staircase

An impressive roll call of local talent is on display, from Adam Goodrum's laser-cut, folding 'Stitch' chair, designed in 2008 for Italian brand Cappellini, to Grant and Mary Featherston's vintage 'Scape' armchair from 1960, reissued in 2016 by Grazia & Co. Established pieces by Marc NewsonRobert Foster and Dinosaur Designs are here, alongside newer creations by up-and-coming names. We love Adelaide duo Daniel Emma's 'D.E Desk' accessories, Henry Wilson's bronze 'Fin' bookends, 'Stack' trays and 'Surface' sconce lamps, and Trent Jansen's terracotta 'Jugaad with Pottery' vessels, created in India.

ABOVE: Broached Commissions' 'Piano' credenza (2013) by Adam Goodrum, made from piano ivory, timber and felt, sheet music and Victorian ash, with Charles Wilson's Tasmanian blackwood 'Government' side table (2007); The sci-fi shape of Marc Newson's tubular steel, foam and wool 'Embryo' chair (1988) contrasts with its heritage surrounds

Like a sinuous racetrack, Fred Ganim's undulating 'Plane' table occupies a startling location in the atrium, below the two-story building's curvy wooden staircase. Taking the spot usually occupied by a hurricane lantern by the hall's entry portico, ADesignStudio's 'Greenway' pendant lamp teams classic hand-blown glass and brass with 3D-printed polymers and LED lights, typifying the collision of old and new in the show. Another heavenly hybrid is the 'Waratah' decanter and 'Protea' cups, originally drawn by Lucien Henry (1889-91) but digitally remodelled by Vert Design in 2016, using 3D-printed polymers. Australia's decorative past meets its high-tech future...

ABOVE: Culture-clash rules in the upstairs lounge, decorated with terracotta 'Jugaad with Pottery' by Trent Jansen, 'Matisse' chairs by Frag Woodall, brass 'Don' coffee table by Don Cameron and zig-zag LED 'Sen' light by Liam Mugavin, all 2016; In the music room, Tony Kenway's maple 'Signature' rocker (1988) and Lucy McRae's vegetable-dyed wood and metal 'Broached Colonial Prickly' lamp (2011) for Broached Commissions add a slightly surreal touch

Lovers of wallpapers and fabrics should head upstairs, where prints and textiles draped on tables and tacked to walls include work by Anna Spiro (behind the interiors of Australia's Halcyon House hotel), Oscar-winning costume designer Catherine Martin, flora and fauna-inspired Cloth (aka Julie Paterson), photographer Martyn Thompson, painterly Shilo Engelbrecht, and nature-influenced Utopia Goods. There's a compact design store and alfresco cafe for shopping and sipping afterwards. The Fizz heard a rumour that the upstairs lounge is haunted, but there's not a ghost of a chance that would put us off this thought-provoking show!
nationaltrust.org.au/event/at-home
'At Home: Modern Australian Design' is at Old Government House, Parramatta Park, Parramatta, western Sydney, until 22 January 2017. Open Tue-Sun, 10am-4pm (last admission 3.30pm); AU$18.50 for adult tickets, online or on the door.

Pictures: Michael Wee

LDF 2016 – 10 Fab FizzPicks

With eye-popping numbers of events, it pays to plan your time at London Design Festival carefully. Here are 10 fab FizzPicks for #LDF16

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

A black-and-white climbing wall, a barge full of interior accessories or an architectural 'megatube' shaped like a smile... 2016's London Design Festival really does have something for everyone, with plenty of fresh creations to blow your mind.

With hundreds of events, and thousands of designs, up for grabs before the festival wraps this Sunday 25 September, #LDF16 is nothing if not intense. The art is to be prepared, hone your hit list, take a tote and ditch those heels (and yes, you may need a few prosecco refuelling stops!). Here are 10 hot design destinations to wet your whistle, but keep an eye on our Instagram feed for more inspiring #FizzPicks.

Whether you're keen to see furniture, fabrics or lighting, design or craft, emerging local talent or established international names, we've got a savvy selection for you. From box-fresh showrooms to vibrant street art, and radical scent design to eco-friendly oases in the city, here's to discovering the unexpected. This year's London Design Festival visual identity branding, by Pentagram, 'celebrates what often goes unnoticed, highlighting detail'. We'll drink to that...

ABOVE: Design fans snap 'Sculpting Scent', a show by Zuzu Mengham and Laboratory Perfumes at The Conran Shop, Marylebone
ABOVE RIGHT: Pentagram's tenth typographic identity for the London Design Festival's promotional materials, in its signature red and white, is inspired by Charles Eames' belief that the details make the design


The Smile
Parade Ground, Chelsea College of Arts, 16 John Islip Street, SW1
Until 12 October 2016

For interactive design that will put a smile on your dial, climb inside 'The Smile' by London's Alison Brooks Architects, one of LDF's specially commissioned Landmark Projects. A 34m-long timber 'mega-tube' that you can inhabit and explore, it's formed from cross-laminated American tulipwood engineered with Arup into a sweeping sculpture, curving up at both ends. Cue airy viewing platforms, a smile shape and grins all round...


MINI LIVING Forests
Vince Court, N1; Charles Square Gardens, N1; Cnr Pitfield Street and Charles Square, EC1

Until 25 September 2016
Scattered around Shoreditch, Brit architect Asif Khan's three 'MINI LIVING 'Forests' installations offer verdant spots for retreat and reflection. A Landmark Project, these eco-savvy architectural solutions to urban living offer plant-filled 'forest bathing' spots (shinrin yoku), and will host pop-up dinners, workshops, plant exchanges and talks. The project examines ways to activate unused public space in dense cityscapes, creating inspiring 'third places' for social interaction.


Sculpting Scent
The Conran Shop, 55 Marylebone High Street, W1
Until 25 September 2016

'Sculpting Scent', a collaboration between London artist Zuzu Mengham and fragrance innovators Laboratory Perfumes, will seduce design hunters at The Conran Shop in Marylebone. Mengham's vibrant, swirly resin sculptures represent five fragrances through scent and colour, transforming aromas into solid objects. With our regular Looking Glass posts, The Fizz has long championed beauty and perfume design, and this installation has us entranced.


London Design Fair
Old Truman Brewery, 26 Hanbury Street, E1
22-25 September 2016

Dynamic umbrella show London Design Fair, including Fizz faves Tent London and Super Brands, is one of the festival's major Design Destinations. Over four days at East London's Old Truman Brewery, it will showcase more than 500 exhibitors from 29 nations, taking in country pavilions, established brands and emerging talents. Global showcases include the ever-intriguing '100% Norway' (curated by Max Fraser), 'Inspiring Portugal', 'Swedish Design Pavilion' and 'China Academy of Art'. International exhibitions span 'This is India' and the 'British Craft Pavilion' (including Marcin Rusak's sculptural lamps). Connecting British designers with Italian manufacturers, 'Trentino Collaborations' features a monumental granite chair by Max Lamb. Individual exhibitors at Tent include Californian mid-century-inspired furniture brand Bend Goods.


Ready Made Go 2
Ace Hotel London Shoreditch, 100 Shoreditch High Street, E1
Until 25 September 2016

Who doesn't love a monochrome climbing wall? This graphic wonder, the 'Ascension', was designed by London studio Patternity, as one of several 'Ready Made Go 2' commissions installed at Shoreditch's Ace Hotel. Located in the gym, it's a celebration of 'pattern, patience and perseverance.' Curated by Modern Design Review magazine, all the designs were made to be integrated permanently into the hotel, or sold in its shop, including creations by Silo StudioFaye Toogood and Jochen Holz. A gorgeous example are the 'BBQ' tiles by Assemble + Granby Workshop, cladding the seventh-floor bar. The patterns were formed by baking in a barbecue.


Light & Colour
Skandium, 86 Marylebone High Street, W1

Until 25 September 2016
Scandi design store Skandium will showcase 'Light & Colour', launching the iconic new 'Panthella Mini' table light by design icon Verner Panton for Danish lighting brand Louis Poulsen. The size and material are new, and it comes in 11 juicy new colours. Skandium's 245 Brompton Road sister store celebrates the whimsical work of Danish maximalist Bjørn Wiinblad, known for playful ceramic homewares and figurines, as well as textiles and tapestries.


Floating Pop-Up
Bert & May showroom, 67 Vyner Street, E2, and nearby canal barge
Until 30 September 2016

When London design influencers Darkroom traded their cool bricks-and-mortar store on Lamb's Conduit Street for online sales and wholesale we stifled a tear. Now the duo is back with 'Floating Pop-Up', a collaboration with Bert & May. Darkroom's pop-up has taken over Bert's Barge to showcase their new nautically-inspired A/W range of interior accessories and jewellery, while Bert & May's nearby showroom unveils fabrics, a new 'Darkroom Black' paint colour, and modular encaustic tile collection 'Split Shift', which can be arranged in myriad patterns. The three-strong launch celebrates simple geometric shapes – the circle, square and triangle.


Rock Pool
Basement Level, 3 Cromwell Place, SW7

Until 25 September 2016
New York-based Australian photographer Martyn Thompson launches his new 'Rock Pool' collection of upholstery fabrics, inspired by his photos of the ocean. Woven in cotton on a jacquard loom, the abstract fabrics are suitable for upholstery, soft furnishings and wall hangings, and evoke the movement of water, the play of sunlight on sea, and natural rock pools, reflecting Thompson's love of the accidental.


Creative Spaces and Places
Hope Exchange, outside 65 Southwark Street, SE1
Until 25 September 2016

Pattern Queen Camille Walala is all over town for LDF16, literally. The London textile and graphic designer has created one of her signature geo-bright street art works for Better Bankside's 'Creative Spaces and Places', transforming a pedestrian crossing on Southwark Street as part of the Bankside Design District. Walala has also crafted an eye-popping, rainbow Vinyl Lounge for Clerkenwell London store's 'Design Undefined' showcase (155 Farringdon Road, EC1, until 24 September), complemented by Yinka Illori's colourful upcycled chairs. For 'Re-inventing Re-vive', at Natuzzi's showroom (80-81 Tottenham Court Road, W1, until 25 September), Walala reinterpreted the classic 'Re-vive' recliner in bold pattern for a limited edition design.



60 Fulham Road, SW3
Until 25 September 2016

Lovers of 's elegant modern furniture rejoice! The European design brand launches its new flagship showroom in London's Brompton Design District for LDF16, its first in the capital open to the public. Expect to see new additions to Slovenian talent Nika Zupanc's glam 'Stay' range (a bench and dining table), alongside collections by Jaime Hayon and Damien Langlois-Meurinne.


londondesignfestival.com
The citywide London Design Festival runs from 17-25 September 2016; see events for individual dates and opening hours. A few extend beyond the official festival.