Rigg Design Prize 2018


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


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…

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.’


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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?


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

Vivid Sydney 2018

Vivid Sydney brings light art, music and inspiring ideas to town, including impressive design talents. Strike a light!


Vivid Sydney returns to illuminate the city for 23 nights, from Friday 25 May to Saturday 16 June, celebrating its 10th anniversary with a vibrant mix of light, music and ideas. The largest festival of its kind, Sydney's winter-warmer promises eye-catching projections, light art, interactive installations, live bands and cutting-edge talks, with illuminating speakers, exhibitions and workshops.

Running from 6pm to 11pm each night, Vivid is divided into 11 precincts of light sculptures and installations, with new festival zone Luna Park at the iconic harbourside funfair. Favourite zones are back, including Circular QuayCity and Surrounds, Harbour Lights, The Royal Botanic Garden, The Rocks, Barangaroo, Darling Harbour, Taronga Zoo, Kings Cross and Chatswood. Creativity will be front and centre, spanning digital, product and graphic designs. Here are six Fizz picks...


Lighting of the Sails: Metamathemagical
This year's Sydney Opera House sails will be illuminated by site-specific kinetic digital artworks by graphic designer Jonathan Zawada. Entitled 'Metamathemagical', the 15-minute, recurring light show envisages Australia as an 'elemental, timeless place that is also completely new and full of energy.' We're big fans of the celebrated Australian artist, and recently explored his work with electronic musician Flume. Byron Bay-based Zawada took inspiration from Australian nature and its unique flora and fauna for the Vivid project. Responding to the 3D form of the Opera House's architecture, rather than treating it as a flat plane, Zawada drew on images of flowers, plants, feathers, rocks and human figures to craft a hyperreal 'saturation of colour, pattern and texture' (for more insights see this video interview). The visuals are teamed with a soundtrack featuring Air Max '97XO and EPROM.

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Virtual Vibration
Always a highlight, the façade of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) will be animated by 'Virtual Vibration', a blend of psychedelic art and more formal modernism. The large-scale projection mapping is a collaboration between Australian artist Jonny Niesche, electronic musician and composer Mark Pritchard and the Spinifex Group. Expect a shifting, sensory light experience playing with transparency, reflection and movement, set to mesmerising sound.

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Jonathan Zawada and Mark Pritchard in Conversation
Sydney Opera House curator Sarah Rees will join 'Jonathan Zawada and Mark Pritchard in Conversation' (5pm-6pm, 27 May), a talk highlighting the frequent collaborators' work and recent 13-minute film project 'The Four Worlds', inspired by Pritchard's haunting, ambient album of the same name. Zawada is responsible for the 'Lighting of the Sails' digital art illuminating Sydney Opera House this year, while electronic producer Pritchard's music is part of the nearby MCA's installation. Zawada has also created artwork for Pritchard's previous albums. Catch free screenings of the otherworldly film at The Samsung Lounge from 25 May to 16 June.

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Interactive lighting display Skylark lets visitors put their own colourful mark on the city, lighting up Sydney Harbour Bridge and the surrounding skyscrapers of Circular Quay. Designed by Australian talent Iain Reed of 32 Hundred Lighting, this year's version of the attraction includes a dynamic new feature, Bradfield's Beacon, a custom-built, interactive laser atop the Bridge that's double the strength of any laser seen in the Harbour before. It will wash the Harbour and its headlands in colour, while 40 pillars of light above the Overseas Passenger Terminal adds to the spectacle.


Dreams (Daniel Johns and Luke Steele)
Vivid packs a musical punch, with an extensive line-up of live bands, DJs, club nights and parties, including major acts Solange and Ice Cube. Our pick is Dreams on 29 and 30 May at Sydney Opera House. Exclusive to Vivid LIVE, it's the Australian premiere of the band, an intriguing collaboration between two of the country's most iconic musical talents: Daniel Johns (former frontman of Silverchair) and Luke Steele (Empire of The Sun, The Sleepy Jackson). If their recent tracks 'No One Defeats Us' and 'Silence' are anything to go by, the duo should deliver darkly charismatic performances and a bold, experimental sound.

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Good Design Festival
The annual Good Design Festival takes over two floors of the Overseas Passenger Terminal in The Rocks from 25 to 27 May (7.30pm-10pm Friday, 4pm-10pm Saturday and Sunday). The established showcase includes a retrospective of the past 60 years of Australia's Good Design Awards, shares 260 award-winning international projects from 2018's awards, and predicts future talents in the NextGen winners category. The free public exhibition gathers diverse designs, from the Sydney Olympic torch to a deep-sea submarine, electronic bike, suspension tent and museum architecture. Book tickets online for the official launch party (5.30pm-7.30pm, 25 May) and for the 'Good Design Exchange' (6pm, 26 May), a talk hosted by Good Design Australia with graphic design whizz Vince Frost, CEO of Frost*collective, and other speakers.

Vivid Sydney runs from Friday 25 May to Saturday 16 June 2018; see the website for the app, maps, event guide and transport tips. Share your experiences on #VividSydney, #VividIdeas and #VividMusic

LDF 2016 – designjunction KX

Must-see show designjunction curates cutting-edge contemporary design in King's Cross for London Design Festival 2016


Once upon a time King's Cross was a seedy and somewhat shifty part of London. An industrial wasteland home to cheap bedsits, drug dealers and prostitutes, it was an area best avoided, unless you were going clubbing. The once-spectacular Midland Grand Hotel, a red-brick Victorian Gothic masterpiece, had become a shabby office block and the 1987 fire at King's Cross Underground Station only contributed to the area's overall gloom.

Fast-forward to the Nineties and King's Cross slowly began to resurrect itself, bursting into popular culture with the arrival of the Spice Girls who zig-a-zig-ahhd their way around the lobby of the Midland Grand in the video for their first single ‘Wannabe’. Old warehouses were converted into slick live/work spaces attracting the likes of Clive Sinclair, inventor of the ZX Spectrum home computer, photographer David Bailey and architect John Pawson. The relocation of the Eurostar from Waterloo in 2007, the arrival of Britain’s first high-speed rail service in 2008, and the rebirth of the Midland Grand as the luxe St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel in 2011 confirmed that King’s Cross had finally been reborn.

Now for London Design Festival 2016, designjunction – the capital's premier exhibition of contemporary design – is setting up home here too, simultaneously creating new design district the King's Cross Creative Quarter. Leaving central London for the first time, designjunction will bring the hottest established and up-and-coming modern interiors brands to N1 from 22 to 25 September, under the theme 'Immersed in Design'. This year the show will be spilt into four areas, wrapping itself around the banks of Regent’s Canal, plus a lighting zone. Miss #djKX at your peril!

ABOVE: 2016's designjunction show sets up shop in King's Cross, including Cubitt House with a facade of modular GRID cubes
ABOVE RIGHT: The revived St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel
BELOW: Granary Square will display installations in 12 pop-up houses

Granary Square, home to recently relocated arts and design college Central Saint Martins, will feature 12 custom-built red houses showcasing immersive design installations. Headline exhibitors include online interior design platform Houzz, which will be offering free design clinics from their own bespoke green pop-up hut, and German bathroom company Dornbracht. Techies can come out to play too in the house of Japanese technology brand EIZO.

designjunction will cut a swathe through Central Saint Martins itself at The Crossing, featuring specially commissioned installations by major design brands, as well as flash factory demonstrations. Danish flooring company Dinesen, which has created the main registration area in this zone, will exhibit new ranges of their understated but to-die-for wooden floors; Brit brand Kirkby Design will share 'Geo', a new collection of graphic fabrics; and Native Union is bound to tempt you with its latest smart accessories for digital devices.

ABOVE: Lofty design zone The Crossing links Cubitt House and The Canopy, and is home to visitor registration and interactive installations
ABOVE RIGHT: Kirkby Design's geo-print woven textiles
BELOW: Sleek wooden floors by Danish firm Dinesen

The main attraction is Cubitt House, host to more than 100 international furniture, lighting and accessories brands. London's Satellite Architects has been commissioned to craft a striking facade made of over 4,000 slim nylon frames that graduate from black to white in a pixelated effect. The 'GRID' system, by Danish designer Peter J. Lassen, will wrap around the venue, creating a translucent skin perforated by plants. Inside, established brands such as UK furniture firms Isokon Plus and Modus, and Czech lighting label Brokis, will rub shoulders with smaller British independents including Deadgood, Another Country and Very Good & Proper, the modernist design team founded by 'Pigeon Light' designer Ed Carpenter and André Klauser.

ABOVE: The skin of Cubitt House boasts cubes and plants
ABOVE RIGHT: Streamlined wooden furniture by Isokon Plus
BELOW: Very Good & Proper's pastel-perky 'Sled' storage

ABOVE: We love the colourful 'Knot' pendant lights by Vitamin; Czech glass firm Brokis will show seductive coloured 'Lightline' lamps

Lighting fanatics will also be illuminated by the return of lightjunction, the designated zone for the best in contemporary lighting. Always a popular draw, this year sees UK lighting brand Cameron Peters launch its first own-label collection, which includes the cute 'Nelly' table lamp by Brogliato Traverso. If you need to wet your whistle after negotiating your way around the stands there will also be a secret outdoor champagne bar where you can pull up a pew and down a couple of glasses of bubbly. 

ABOVE FROM TOP Floor_Story's graphic rugs include a collaboration with print queen Camille Walala; Tom Pigeon's minimal screen prints

Finally, if you’re in the mood for a little retail therapy, The Canopy is where you’ll be able to buy design-led accessories from more than 60 independent designers. Look out for Welsh textile design label Melin Tregwynt, debuting new collection 'Vintage Star' which riffs on Sixties style, East London brand Floor_Story's graphic colour-blocked rugs, and Fizz favourite Tom Pigeon, which will launch its first silver jewellery collection inspired by modern architecture and a new set of minimal screen prints.

There's only one thing left to do after a busy day pounding the design beat and that's to treat yourself to a well earned feed. The King's Cross Creative Quarter has no shortage of restaurants and bars and it's at the Fizz's favourite Bombay cafe Dishoom, on Granary Square, where you'll find us snacking on tasty Indian street food at the end of the day. Why don't you join us?

designjunction runs from 22-25 September 2016 at 1 Granary Square, King's Cross, London N1. Ticket prices from £12 in advance or £15 on the door

STOP PRESS!! DesignFizz readers can get 50% off the ticket price online in advance. Click this link and enter the code DESIGNFIZZ when prompted

LDF 2014 - Fizztastic stands at designjunction!

With the London Design Festival just weeks away, we bring you our first bulletin on what to see at designjunction 2014 


We can feel it in our fingers, September's show from designjunction is going to be a corker. This year, the Sorting Office will host more than 180 cutting-edge brands displaying up-to-the-minute furniture, lighting, textiles, graphics, accessories and more, bang in the heart of London. Once again, the ground floor will be a switched-on shopping zone while the lower ground floor gives itself up to lightjunction, a space dedicated to the love of lighting in all shapes and sizes.

There will also be a taste of Milan in New Oxford Street this year as Ventura London lands for the first time. Taking its cue from its eclectic and thought-provoking older sibling Ventura Lambrate, Ventura London gathers together the next generation of up-and-coming designers to strut their stuff during the London Design Festival. If you're looking for experimental and conceptual design, then look no further.

We'll definitely be checking out the yummy eats and drinks on offer from the pop-up restaurant by Transport for London featuring vintage bus stops as well as the underground bar serving chilled Japanese Asahi beer. Italian design icon Alessi will be serving up aperitivos and we'll probably have to stop off at the Chilean wine bar at some point as well; it's a thirsty job but someone's got to do it...

Part of London Design Festival 2014, designjunction runs from 18 to 21 September


Cool contemporary lighting is the order of the day at Swedish company Örsjö Belysning who work with an enviable roster of designers including Claesson Koivisto Rune, and Brit de jour Benjamin Hubert. The 'Skyline' range of pendant, wall and floor lamps by Folkform (above) is inspired by the architecture of Stockholm and was presented to Queen Silvia on her 70th birthday. Available in sexy brass and sleek white, we're loving the slightly Seventies glamour.

We're real suckers for witty, offbeat design and Victoria Delany completely nails the combination in our eyes. Her printed tablecloths, tableware, candlesticks and jewellery all have a strong sense of fun while managing to be extremely stylish to boot. These striking pewter plates bear the impression of a traditional fork, instantly mixing tradition and modernity in one inspired format. Her motto is 'Function meets Provocative' and we couldn't agree more.

The design world is about to get its first taste of zingy carbon fibre furniture. Developed by Formula One engineers, this bright and beautiful material from Hypetex has made the leap from the race track to the front room in the shape of these colourful and eye-catching 'Halo' chairs. The result of a collaboration with designjunction's very own Creative Director Michael Sodeau, these three-legged wonders are light yet sturdy and can also double as a nifty sculpture when not in use. Red Dot Award? Oh we think so...

Based in Melton Mowbray, Bailey Hills fuses the traditions of spun, woven wool and worsted cloths with contemporary design and digital printing techniques. Between 1863 and 1943, founder Jane Walker's great great grandfather ran three mills in Bingley, West Yorkshire, as well as a large mill near Rouen in northern France. Graduating from Loughborough University as a printed textile designer in 2010, Walker has paid respect to his work by applying her own love of design and printing to the same material he produced so many years ago. Using a mixture of abstract graphics and figurative illustrations, she has ushered in a new age of printed textiles, utilising both hand-printing and up-to-date digital techniques. These five beautiful new designs printed on wool twill will be unveiled at designjunction, available by the metre for the first time. We totally heart the mix of metallic ink and wool – maybe Fizz HQ might pop in for a makeover!

ABOVE RIGHT: New design 'Cosmati Stripe' printed in sleek metallics

TOP ROW FROM LEFT: 'Pastiche', 'Cosmati Stripe', 'Ice Star', 'Inside Out', and 'Rosette'
BOTTOM ROW: Cushions, chairs and lampshades covered in fabrics from the new collection

Photos: Paul Brown Imaging  pbimaging.co.uk