A contemporary rug design inspired by antique lace has scored COFA student, Ruby Pritchard top prize in the RUG UP design competition.

RUG UP is a collaboration between third-year Bachelor of Design students majoring in textiles and one of Australia's leading design companies, Designer Rugs.

Pritchard was one of 60 students briefed to produce a range of contemporary rug designs for an organisation or business.

Pritchard designed her Old & Funky rug for the Lace Room at the PowerHouse Museum.

"I chose that space because I was transfixed by the beauty of the lace that's displayed there," she said. "Then I started researching iron lace and lazer cut lace, which helped me grasp creating a design that was both contemporary and graphic."

From the almost 500 design concepts submitted (each of the 60 students submitted 6 to 10 designs) only five were selected for production by Designer Rugs, who have a long-established commitment to mentoring Australia's student designers.

Pritchard found the experience of working for a commercial designer and retailer invaluable.

"This is the first real industry experience I've had. It was a real eye-opener working with professionals and designing to a brief," she said.

Pritchard joins renowned Australian artists and designers, bernabeifreeman, Dinosaur Designs, Akira Isogawa and Catherine Martin, who have all contributed to the Designer Rugs collection.

"The crazy thing is, I now own a $2600 rug that I designed myself and my apartment's too small for it. My Mum's going to have to look after it for me!" said Pritchard.

The five RUG UP finalists are on display at the Designer Rugs Edgecliff showroom and are available for purchase and re-order.

Media Contact: Fran Strachan | fran.strachan@unsw.edu.au | 9285 8732 | 04294 16070