The Big Design Market Melbourne

I visited the Big Design Market last weekend, mostly out of curiosity rather than with buying goals in mind, but I did make a couple of purchases.


I bought this cute rope bowl to put thread ends in when I’m sewing. I had planned to make some kind of fabric bucket but this one was too lovely to leave behind and I was happy to support this Brisbane based maker who makes these rope bowls herself.


design-market-melb-2016The market was held at the Victorian Melbourne Exhibition Building which accommodates a huge number of vendors and is always a treat to visit.

As the name makes clear this market promotes more ‘designery’ merchandise than handmade crafts. The production quality was high and tended to reflect large production runs and stock levels in the hundreds, with exceptions like a precious metal jeweller. The aesthetic was modern and urban, rather than folk or traditional.

Both sellers of handwovens that I visited had their wares manufactured overseas. One sold terry towels handloomed in Turkey to the vendor’s own design, the other appeared to be a reseller of high quality Indian pashmina type shawls.

The market was definitely worth a visit and would be a good way to source holiday gifts and support local designers.


2 responses to “The Big Design Market Melbourne

  1. I’m ambivalent about this sort of market but not at all about the rope baskets! They are gorgeous! I’m surprised to say it but I really like the ones with the pompom trim.

    • I share your hesitation about this type of market, especially because the design aesthetic is ‘samey’ in a way I struggle to verbalise.

      If you need to buy a gift though, I feel buying a small run, locally designed item is somewhat better than buying plastic wares imported from a low labour cost country and transported half way around the world.

      The other thing I brought home was a set of beeswax impregnated wrapping cloths that cover a bowl like cling wrap but are reusable and compostable when they eventually lose their wax (after a year or so, they told me.) So far I’ve used mine for a bowl of garlicky dip and some refrigerate overnight cookie dough with good results.

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