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The Big Design Market

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by Vanessa (subscribe)
WeekendNotes Chief Editor / Chief Writer / PR & Communications.
Event: -
250 stallholders, delicious food & FREE kids activities

As the festive season approaches, Australia's ultimate festive season shopping destination is back for 2018 – bigger, bolder and brighter than ever!

Regarded as Melbourne's premier shopping event, The Big Design Market, returns to Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton Gardens for a three-day extravaganza:

Friday 30 November, 10am–9pm

Saturday 1 December, 10am–7pm

Sunday 2 December, 10am–5pm

Since launching in 2012, The Big Design Market has attracted over 50,000 visitors annually and this year, eventgoers will be treated to the biggest line-up yet of over 250 designers, delicious food and drink offerings, inspiring art installations, a cocktail bar, and FREE kids activities in a dedicated 'inner-city garden' themed play area!

250 Local and International Stallholders Under One Roof

The beauty of The Big Design Market is that it delivers a one-stop Christmas shopping experience to an audience who value original, ethically designed, quality products. Shoppers can connect directly with the designers and makers featuring at the market, keep their children entertained with FREE activities, and enjoy excellent food and drink, all in an iconic setting.

Director Simon Obarzanek comments on the unique approach of the events: "we love bringing creative products to new audiences and working with artists to create something special each year. The event provides a dynamic platform for independent design brands to launch their new product ranges to a discerning and responsive audience who look for excellent design, cutting-edge innovation and eco-conscious practices. When these powerful elements align, it's a win for the designers, the makers, the shoppers and the earth."

Tantri Mustika

The Big Design Market 2018 Highlights

The 2018 stallholder line-up includes a carefully curated assembly of the best local creative talent, with many new additions including jewellery designer Ada Hodgson, ceramicists James Lemon and Tantri Mustika, Journey of Something who make designer puzzles for adults, and New Junior with their ear muffs for babies! Homewares, fashion, beauty care products, furniture, stationery, tech items and kids' products are just some of the designer goods that visitors to The Big Design Market can expect to discover.

Marc Martin

The Big Design Market also welcomes visitors to indulge in delicious food and drink offerings, walk beneath an inspiring art installation by featuring the illustrations of Marc Martin, relax in the stylish calm of a cocktail bar, and treat the kids to a host of free activities in a dedicated 'inner-city garden' themed play area.

What to See and Do at The Big Design Market 2018


The Big Design Market consistently delivers diversity, and excitement to its visitors every year by featuring new talent alongside established independent brands. This year's events will showcase the work of more than 250 independent design brands and makers.

With a distinct theme of sustainability in this year's line-up, The Big Design Market hosts brands that are making a difference with stylish reusable wares. From the likes of Beetbox who design lunch boxes whose ethos of '…making it yourself is good for your health, the environment and your wallet' really strikes a chord, to Honeybee Wrap who finally forgo pointless cling wrap, long-time favourite Bridget Bodenham with her gorgeous ceramic travel cups and tableware, Simple Dimple's practical and beautiful produce bags and more.

To continue with a positive attitude and everyday wellbeing, the line up also includes Lekker bikes to get you moving, I Am That Yoga with their funky natural cork mats and whether or not you live in an inner city apartment or a block of land in the sprawling suburbs, Little Veggie Patch Co. will have you growing your own produce in no time.

There is also a selection of brands whose businesses directly support and nurture communities. Successful not-for-profit indigenous enterprise, Bush Medijina, who use the knowledge that has been passed down from their elders to harvest bush produce to make a unique range of body products. The sales support their business, community and the Warnindilyakwa women who are making the products too. Indigenous social enterprise Magpie Goose creates sustainable jobs in the fashion industry for indigenous people in remote Northern Territory communities. Park SSC and Collective Closet and are making a difference internationally helping disadvantaged kids and women.

Independent brands making a big impact with their innovative product designs include 2018 iF Design Award winners Orbitkey and recent Shark Tank contenders Subo, whose unique food bottles for kids were a bit hit. Shoppers will also discover bags made from recycled pineapples, swimwear made from recycled plastic bottles and the Revolving Kinetic Wine Glass by Emma Klaus that functions both as a drinking vessel and as a decanter that aerates the wine as it revolves.

Visitors shopping for kids should keep an eye out for Lekker bikes, Squared Charts, Beep Bicycle Bells, Halcyon Nights, Good Sport, Harry & Pop, Min Pin and Rainbeau.

Check out the A-Z Designer Directory here.

Guest Artist

Each year The Big Design Market commissions one of their exhibitors to create a large-scale installation to wow visitors at the event. Following the wonderful work of guest artist Pete Cromer in 2017, this year the artwork of award-winning artist and author/illustrator of numerous children's books Marc Martin will be the feature of an awe-inspiring installation. A gigantic flock of Marc's colourful birds will fill the Great Dome of the Royal Exhibition Building.

Free Kids Activites

Treat the kids to a host of free activities in The Big Design Market's 'inner-city garden' themed play space, featuring a 6-metre mural print created by illustrator Megan McKean. Kids can play and create all day decorating two giant cubby houses and making paper floral blooms for mini-gardens, or colour-in decorations designed by Megan.

Food and Drink

Shoppers love to eat and drink, which is why The Big Design Market invites everyone to enjoy delicious gourmet food offerings, craft beer, wine and coffee from local culinary masters. This year newcomers include The Everleigh with their stylish bottled cocktails and Sydney-based Archie Rose Distilling Co. who will be introducing Melbourne shoppers to their award-winning spirits. Q le Baker by Quentin Berthonneau comes on board with his authentic French pastries. Mainstays Starward Whisky, Moo Brew and Merricks General Wine Store return with the best in craft beer, wine and whisky. St. Ali will be making coffee to perfection alongside long-time favourites Gelato Messina, Earl Canteen, 5 & Dime Bagels and All Day Donuts.

Check out the Eat & Drink line up here.

Designer Showbags and Prizes

The Big Design Market's designer showbags have become highly sought after by shoppers over the past 6 years with a limited number available to purchase at the event each day until sold out. This year's visitors are in for a treat with showbag items such as nail polish from Kester Black, a children's book from Berbay Publishing, hand-made earrings by Erika Harder Jewellery, cute enamel pins from The Colour Society, a screen-printed teatowel by Tinker by Printink Studio, body products from Leif and other tempting goodies from the likes of Dana Kinter, Olenka, Write To Me, Red Parka, Honeybee Wraps and Hello Miss May! $25 each ($120 value). To see what's in the showbags each day click here.

For a chance to win a deluxe showbag, visitors can RSVP to The Big Design Market's event on Facebook.

Check out the Designer Showbag inclusions here.

In addition to designer showbags, The Big Design Market offers over $1800 worth of prizes including a Lekker bike to be won by one lucky event visitor in each city. To enter, sign up to event newsletter here:

The Big Design Market makes shopping for the festive season pure joy. Come along and explore, play, and engage with an extensive array of original products, delectable foods and free activities, all under one roof.

For details about The Big Design Market including full line up of designers, food and drink offerings, kids activities and designer showbags please visit

The Big Design Market - Melbourne

Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton Gardens

Friday 30 November, 10am–9pm

Saturday 1 December, 10am–7pm

Sunday 2 December, 10am–5pm


$2 for adults and FREE for kids 12 and under.


All payment options are accepted including EFTPOS and credit card facilities. There are multiple ATM machines located inside the Royal Exhibition Building.

@TheBigDesignMarket, @BigDesignMarket, #bigdesignmarket

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When: 30 Nov – 2 Dec 2018
Where: Royal Exhibition Building, 9 Nicholson St, Carlton VIC 3053
Cost: $2 adults / FREE for kids 12 and under
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