Travels With JB

Travels With JB

Travel news and reviews

We have seen the magical work of interior designers in our homes, on television and in magazines and now it is on show at Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square.

Installation view of The table is the base 2018 Hecker Guthrie design studio, Australia est. 2008. *

The gallery is hosting the triennial Rigg Design Prize, which is awarded to an Australian design practice displaying outstanding creative achievements in contemporary design.

Entries in this year’s award were required to create their own purpose-built room within the gallery, responding to the theme “domestic living”.

Installation view of We’ve boundless plains to share. 2018 Flack Studio design studio, Australia est. 2014.*

The brief: “To produce an interior capable of communicating to audiences 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 NGV is showing the work of the 10 Australian studios shortlisted for the award.

Installation view of Imaginarium, 2018. The Society Inc by Sibella Court design studio, Australia est. 2009.*

The $30,000 prize was won by Hecker Guthrie, whose work The Table is the Base celebrates “the table as a modest and unassuming object with an invisible gravitational pull that brings people together and binds them in space”.

Interestingly Guthrie’s work was far more subdued than several of the other finalists’ rooms, which made far greater use of strong lighting and color.

Installation view of Inner-Terior, 2018 Danielle Brustman design studio Australia, est. 2012.*

Danielle Brustman’s Inner-Terior, for example, purposes an alternative domestic living space that asks if the home can be a more fantastical place. Taking its design cues from the movie Xanadu, it’s part conversation pit, part lounge room and part stage.

We’ve boundless plains to share by Flack Studio is saturated in a gold hue. Its opulence highlights that while parts of the world are in crisis, many Australians are living in a ‘golden age’ with enough wealth to create custom interiors and architecture.

Installation view of Panic room, 2018 David Hicks design studio Australia, est 2000.*

David Hicks’ Panic room is a satire that explores how our constant exposure to media, both traditional and social, and the dominance of an information culture has impacted on private lives and the places people retreat to.

Contrasting with these works is Imaginarium, by designer Sibella Court.  This redefined room in the home is 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.

Installation view of Take it outside 2018 Amber Road design studio Australia est. 2013
Installation view of Take it outside 2018 Amber Road design studio Australia, est. 2013.*

This was one of my favourite rooms together with Take it outside, which celebrates the porch or verandah.

Listening to comments around me it was clear that when it comes to interior design, beauty and taste – like all works of art – is most definitely in the eye of the beholder!

The Rigg Design Prize is on display at Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square, until February 24. Entry is free. Visit the National Gallery of Victoria website for more information.

*Photo credit: Shannon McGrath.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Subscribe My Newsletter
Subscribe to my e-mail newsletter to receive updates.
We respect your privacy.
Unsubscribe at any time.