10 Australian interior designers create spaces in National Gallery Victoria
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Rigg Design Prize 2018 at National Gallery Victoria

10 Australian interior designers create bespoke spaces inside National Gallery Victoria

Rollerskating rinks, national anthems and the humble table are just some of the points of reference for contestants in this year's Rigg Design Prize exhibition, which celebrates the best of Australian interior design.

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at National Gallery Victoria
The winning interior by Hecker Guthrie celebrates the role of the table in domestic spaces

The triennial prize – which has been hosted by Australia's National Gallery Victoria (NGV) since 1994 – sees 10 of the country's most prominent interior designers and decorators create a bespoke room within one of the gallery's exhibition spaces.

This year's participants were asked to work under the theme of Domestic Living, and consider how interiors can serve as a "form of communication embedded with values, ideas and stories".

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at National Gallery Victoria
Hecker & Guthrie's room features terracotta-hued walls and warm timber fixtures

Design studio Hecker Guthrie were awarded first place for its interior titled The Table is the Base, which honours the piece of furniture as a "modest yet powerful object" that is able to bring people together through eat, work, and play.

The room features terracotta-hued walls and a series of different-sized wooden tables sat upon a timber platform. Dotted throughout are typical home fixtures and furnishings such as basins, cupboards, and pen pots.

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at National Gallery Victoria
Arent & Pyke's interior uses bespoke furnishings to encourage restorative activities like eating and bathing

"Domestic living, for us, is the ultimate expression of everything we do. It draws upon the ultimate emotive response to space – it's where we're at our most vulnerable and most comfortable," explained the studio's founders Paul Hecker and Hamish Guthrie.

"The table has been a common thread that we engage with through all of our projects, we're always exploring the table as that 'thing' to anchor space, it has that unifying element."

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at National Gallery Victoria
Splashes of bright colour and curved forms appear in Danielle Brustman's retro-inspired room

The nine other designers to compete for the $30,000 Rigg Design Prize were Amber Road, Arent & Pyke, Danielle Brustman, David Hicks, Flack Studio, Martyn Thompson Studio, Richards Stanisich, Scott Weston Architecture Design and The Society Inc.

Alongside the winning interior, highlights of the exhibition include Brustman's vivid room titled Inner-Terior, which takes design cues from rollerskating rinks, retro amusement park rides, and 1980s fantasy film Xanadu. At its centre lies a curved seating nook illuminated by a pink and yellow-striped neon archway.

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at National Gallery Victoria
Amber Road's room features sand-coloured walls and starry ceilings, in reference to Australian desert terrain

Arent & Pyke created another stand-out interior by using bespoke furnishings to establish a more restorative atmosphere in their space, which has been loosely divided into areas for bathing, resting and dining.

Entrees by Sydney-based studio Amber Road and Melbourne-based Flack Studio were also attention-grabbing.

Amber Road attempted to merge indoors and outdoors with their verandah-like room, which features a star-printed ceiling and rust-coloured walls to emulate the landscape of the Australian desert, while the tones and textures in Flack Studio's interior are directly influenced by lines in the country's national anthem including "we've golden soil and wealth for toil".

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at National Gallery Victoria
Verses of the Australian national anthem influenced the colour and material palette of Flack Studio's entry

The Rigg Design Prize 2018 entrees will be on display at the NGV until the 24 February 2019.

Dezeen recently celebrated Aussie interior design by selecting eight of the country's most striking homes, ranging from an all-white residence in Melbourne to a pared-back property in Tasmania.

Photography is by Shannon McGrath.

More images

Rigg Design Prize 2018 at National Gallery Victoria
Panic Room, by David Hicks Studio
Rigg Design Prize 2018 at National Gallery Victoria
Rigg Design Prize 2018 at National Gallery Victoria
Our Natural Needs in a Digital World, by Richard Stanisich
Rigg Design Prize 2018 at National Gallery Victoria
Rigg Design Prize 2018 at National Gallery Victoria
Wunderkammer, by Scott Weston Architecture Design
Rigg Design Prize 2018 at National Gallery Victoria
Imaginarium, by The Society Inc
Rigg Design Prize 2018 at National Gallery Victoria
Rigg Design Prize 2018 at National Gallery Victoria
Atelier, by Martyn Thompson Studio