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

Jardan Sydney

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Australian interiors brand Jardan's new Sydney store has put the seductive into staircases

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

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Sculptural. Seductive. Super-stylish. The staircase at Australian design brand Jardan's new Sydney flagship store has been drawing admiring glances, from its pale, pretty-in-pink pastel colour to its gorgeous curves. Linking the shop's three levels, it's a serious scene-stealer, with a sinuous wooden hand rail, sleek, gold-edged wooden stairs and grainy marble flooring.

ABOVE: Poised in pink: the sculptural staircase is a centrepiece at Jardan
ABOVE RIGHT: The inviting gold-meets-glass exterior of Jardan Sydney's flagship new store on a corner of Paddington's Oxford Street
BELOW: The softly geometric staircase runs from the lower ground floor up to the first storey, lit by a skylight, with tactile details including a sinuous wooden handrail, marble flooring and gold-tipped treads

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ABOVE: A seductive first-floor living area at Jardan, painted to pick up the greens and blues of the trees, sky and Sydney Harbour. Covetable ceramics make great take-home buys

By Melbourne's IF Architecture, the store on Paddington's Oxford Street takes its cue from Sydney's shifting seasons, spanning the blues of the harbour, the green canopy of the city's hilly streets, and the reds and yellows of the sun. 'Colour is expressive light, and Sydney has light like no other place in Australia,' says lead architect Iva Foschia, who designed the different levels of the space to transition between whites, blues, greens, pinks, greys and blacks. Foschia also took inspiration for the palette from the colour systems of iconic Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier, 'who used colour to enhance the emotions of people in his buildings', harnessing custom paints from Australian specialists Porter's Paints.

Sydney's creative families were another key influence for Foschia, including local interior designer Marion Hall Best (whose career from the mid-1930s celebrated bold colour, pattern and modernism), late artist Brett Whiteley (who famously painted the harbour in ultramarine hues), veteran artist John Olsen (known for his love of nature, greens and blues), and his daughter Louise Olsen and son-in-law Stephen Ormandy's homewares/jewellery brand Dinosaur Designs (beloved for its sleek forms and vibrant hues).

BELOW: Up on the first floor, Jardan's modernist-inspired, contemporary furniture is flanked by a fireplace and backdropped by airy views; Rugs and cushions are displayed on the lower ground floor, styled with a dark-grey sofa as a living zone

Melbourne-born, family firm Jardan sells Australian-designed and-made furniture and lighting, crafted using local materials to exemplary eco standards. Its own-label contemporary collections are displayed alongside a brilliant edit of art and accessories, from tableware to coffee-table books, rugs to vases. After closing its original Sydney showroom in Rosebery, Jardan launched a recent pop-up in Paddington, before finding a permanent home in Oxford Street's 1924-founded Alderstein House, an Art Deco building formerly occupied by Ariel Booksellers.

Styled like a home, the stunning flagship features dedicated zones for living, sleeping, dining and cooking – an alluring curved shelving area displays print titles, ceramics and plants, while upstairs there's an entertainer's kitchen – with lofty views over the harbour. Connecting the lower ground floor, ground floor and first floor is the eye-catching central staircase, flanked by sensual surface materials. Art is a highlight, especially Australian talent Kate Ballis' kooky-coloured 'Infra Realism' photos of America's palm-dotted landscape, pools and modernist architecture. You can even pick up a Maren surfboard. Only in Sydney...
www.jardan.com.au

BELOW: Blue-and-rust-grained marble etched with the Jardan logo forms the store's impressive entry wall (signage was created in collaboration with Seasaw studio); A sleek modern first-floor kitchen showcases tableware and vessels by local makers

Jardan Sydney is at 42 Oxford Street Paddington, Sydney. Click here for details of Jardan's Melbourne and Brisbane stores, also designed by IF Architecture

Pictures: Sean Fennessy

George Byrne – ‘Local Division’

For colour and architecture inspiration, we’re wowed by photographer George Byrne’s striking shots of Los Angeles…

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Australian photographer George Byrne captures the graphic shapes and colours of Los Angeles’ streetscapes in his new exhibition ‘Local Division’, currently showing at Sydney gallery Olsen Irwin.

Born in Sydney in 1976, Byrne started out studying painting but discovered photography in his late teens. He graduated from the Sydney College of the Arts in 2001 before settling in LA in 2010, where he has concentrated on his photographic practice.

Architecture fans will love the clean-lined buildings, snapped both from a distance and in geometric detail, some flat, two-dimensional planes, others textural and almost painterly. Some images feel abstract and becalmed, with a sculptural still-life quality. Street furniture from posts to parking signs and lights adds to the static feel (imagine late Adelaide artist Jeffrey Smart’s vibrant urban paintings transformed to photos).

Byrne’s palette is beautiful, portraying a dreamy mix of soft pastels – minty greens, dusky pinks and baby blues – contrasted with primary yellows, reds and cooler cobalts. Colour pops up on painted roofs and pavement edging, stripy wall tiles and vibrant doors, strings of balloons and a doughnut-like inflatable ring bobbing in a turquoise hotel pool.

ABOVE: 'Temple St', 2015
ABOVE RIGHT: 'Motel Grand', 2014
BELOW FROM LEFT: 'Hotel Pool #1', 2015; 'Green and White #2', 2015; all archival pigment prints, editions of five

Byrne has a way with shadows too, incorporating their intrusive shapes, especially those of LA’s trademark palm trees, often cut-off in unexpected ways. Perhaps it’s his Australian roots, as the harsh light in his homeland is equally blinding. Bright modernist exteriors are backdropped by faded signs and retro typography, conveying a bitter-sweet sense of nostalgia.

ABOVE: 'Ace Hotel Sth Broadway', 2015

This being LA, hotels and motels get their hour in the sun too, including a vertiginous view looking down from the Ace Hotel Downtown on South Broadway. Yet it’s not the glamorous parts of the city that seem to interest Byrne, rather the run-down, neglected and unsung quarters of town. And in a city where everyone drives, shots of empty streets are animated by the rare pedestrians walking, lonesome in an Edward Hopper-esque way, including one sporting a cinematic cowboy hat (real life or film set?).

ABOVE FROM TOP: '99c Silverlake', 2015; 'Cowboy', 2015

‘Borrowing from the clean, vivid clarity of modernist painting, Byrne references the New Topographics photography movement via a subject matter firmly entrenched in the urban everyday,’ states Byrne’s CV. His work ‘spins LA’s most disposable architecture and redundant landscapes into seismic moments. He seeks the subliminal and sublime in the everyday.’ Early influences included artists Piet Mondrian, Richard Diebenkorn, David Hockney and Jeffrey Smart; photographers Walker Evans, William Eggleston, Stephen Shore and Andreas Gursky were also creative inspirations.

All the ‘Local Division’ shots are archival pigment prints, in editions of five with two artist’s proofs. Sizes are large, but smaller options are available on request. You can also follow Byrne’s gallery on Instagram (@george_byrne), which he uses as a visual scrapbook.
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George Byrne’s ‘Local Division’ series is on show at Olsen Irwin, 63 Jersey Road, Woollahra, Sydney until 28 February 2016; free entry.

Supergraph 2015

Supergraph, a three-day fiesta of graphic design, print and illustration, returns to Melbourne. Get your art on!

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

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Love all things print? Then get down to Supergraph, Melbourne's contemporary graphic art and design fair, running from 13 to 15 February 2015 at Carlton's Royal Exhibition Building. Now in its second year, it showcases Australia's most current designs from emerging and established talents, plus global names, with original and limited-edition works available to buy from as little as $30.

Exhibitors include individual and group stands, plus Supergraph Picks, with major booths such as Fizz fave Frankie magazine, art/design webstore Redbubble, sleek Melbourne stationery purveyors Mi Goals, and The Jacky Winter Group, which represents commercial applied artists, plus its gallery collective Lamington Drive. Overseas artistry gets a look-in, too, in the International Salon, with talent from Thailand to Nashville and New Zealand's Endemic World, including Hong Kong art boutique/agency Odd One Out, and the UK's Print Club London and The London Illustration Fair.

Don't miss Papua New Guinea-born, Swiss guest artist Tobias Gutmann, and his cult Face-o-mat,  a handmade social portrait machine. A hit with audiences in Tokyo, Milan, London, Stockholm and Dar es Salaam, Face-o-mat is redesigned for each destination. Take a seat in front, as if in a photo booth, adjust the levers to select your style, and then Gutmann will whip you up a vibrant or monochrome abstract portrait in three minutes, with styles from cartoonish to art deco. There will be several ballots a day for Face-o-mat spots, which cost $10 a pop.

Robotic dogs more your speed? The winner of the fair's inaugural Super Installation Award is emerging artist Kara Baldwin, whose work 'A Load of Pollocks' sees dozens of robotic toy dogs with pens taped to their tails navigating a cardboard pen mirroring the precise dimensions of Jackson Pollock's 'Blue poles' (212.1 cm x 488.9 cm). It's another quirky take on automated art, as the glowing-eyed dogs draw, and bark, as they ramble around. 'The Royal Exhibition Building is perfect for a large-scale installation,' says event director Mikala Tai of the cheeky pooch piece.

ABOVE RIGHT: Tobias Gutmann, the face behind Face-o-mat

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ABOVE: Kara Baldwin's robotic 'A Load of Pollocks'; Illustration by Melbourne design studio A Friend of Mine, which developed Supergraph's brand identity of zingy yellow, industrial yet friendly motifs

As well as affordable art, the fair is packed with interactive events, from an opening-night party to creative workshops, artist-led masterclasses and a Design Tarot fortune-reading teepee. Saturday heralds the Drawing Olympics, with illustrator duos battling it out on the main stage, and speed drawing sessions; Sunday plays host to a tattoo illustration workshop. No need to suffer for your art, though; there's a Truck Stop garden, full of tempting food trucks, plus drinks a-go-go. Can't make it to the fair? Luckily, the online store for the 'Supergraph Salon' is open now, divided into A3 and A4 prints, posters and Supergraph Picks, so you can snap up something special wherever you are. That's that pesky Valentine's gift sorted!
www.supergraph.com.au

Supergraph 2015, Royal Exhibition Building, 8 Nicholson Street, Carlton, Melbourne. Friday 13 February, 6pm-10pm; Saturday 14-Sunday 15 February, 10am-6pm. For FizzPicks from the fair, follow us on Instagram; thedesignfizz