Martyn Thompson up for the Rigg Design Prize 2018

On the shortlist for the Rigg Design Prize 2018 is AGEIST profile and contributor Martyn Thompson.

Recognizing excellence in Australian design, the Rigg Design Prize is the highest accolade for contemporary design in Australia. The triennial prize is awarded to an Australian design practice displaying outstanding creative achievements in contemporary design.

Riggs Prize: Martyn Thompson's Design
Riggs Prize: Martyn Thompson’s Design

For the prize exhibition, each studio was invited to design a purpose built interior that responds to the 2018 exhibition theme of Domestic Living. The NGV asked each design studio 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.

Riggs Prize: Martyn Thompson’s Design

“This installation explores the somewhat old-fashioned notion of the atelier and how in the present, when the line between work and home life is blurred, this type of space takes on a new relevance and becomes an arena for complete creative expression.” 

Most pieces in this display were designed or created by Martyn Thompson himself. His rugs, ceramics, textiles, art and ottomans are shown alongside collaborative pieces as a Gesamtkunstwerk (a ‘total work of art’). Thompson’s philosophy is that creative spaces are always evolving and should have flexibility embedded in their design so they can adapt to shifts in function or mood.

Riggs Prize: Martyn Thompson’s Design

Martyn has had, and continues to have, a highly successful career as a commercial photographer. Then, in a move that may be familiar to many of us, he began a parallel endeavor as a textile designer. Nothing like going out on a limb and starting a new and somewhat risky business in ones mid-50s to awaken ones full attention. Then, after a couple of years, this led to his first rug collection, which we wrote about here. Now he is one of 10 people up for the Rigg Design Prize. Well done.

The exhibition will be up October 12-Feb 19, 2019 from 10am-5pm daily, and is free.

Riggs Prize: Martyn Thompson’s Design
Riggs Prize: Martyn Thompson’s Design




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David Stewart
David is the founder and face of AGEIST. He is an expert on, and a passionate champion of the emerging global over-50 lifestyle. A dynamic speaker, he is available for panels, keynotes and informational talks at david@agei.st.


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