Big Design Market 2017 highlights

The Big Design Market always delivers an exceptional line up of the most unique curated offerings of ethical and independent designer gifts in an inspiring shopping experience all under one roof.

Highlights for 2017 include a carefully curated assembly of the best local creative talent, as well as indigenous artists from the Kimberley region in the Northern Territory, and new designers from Japan and China. Homewares, fashions, 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.

Presenting an extended line up of over 230 designers over a three-day weekend in Melbourne and Sydney, the Big Design Market 2017 also welcomes visitors to indulge in delicious food and drink offerings, try their hand at a creative workshop, walk through an inspiring art installation, relax in the stylish calm of a cocktail bar, and treat the kids to a host of free activities in a dedicated ‘outback’ themed play area.

What to see and do at the Big Design Market for 2017:

Guest Artists

One of the distinctive qualities of the Big Design Market is an active support of the arts by inviting local, independent creatives to be part of the event itself.

Following the wonderful work of guest artist Benja Harney of Paperform in 2016, this year rising star, Melbourne designer and illustrator Pete Cromer has been commissioned to create an awe­‐inspiring floral installation using his distinct and vibrant collage style. Towering over 5 metres high, 40 hand­‐painted collage flowers in gigantic golden vases, Pete’s works in each city are set to stun and delight visitors.

Other artist commissions include custom furniture makers Timbermill to deck out the food area in Sydney, industrial designer Jem Selig Freeman and sculptor Laura Woodward of Like Butter to create bespoke tables and chairs for the food area in Melbourne, and the creation of an ‘outback’­‐inspired kids play area featuring cardboard­ cut­‐out photo booths, magical murals, and free art activities by Min Pin’s Penny Ferguson in collaboration with Togetherness Design’s Esther Sandler and independent textile designer Tara Whalley.

There’s also an exciting line­‐up of creative workshops hosted by design industry aficionados for visitors to take part in at the event.


Creative workshops hosted by Sydney and Melbourne dreamers have become some of the most anticipated highlights of the Big Design Market, and once again the team have delivered an inspired line up of artists and designers.

Cat Rabbit will be holding workshops in both cities where participants can customise a pair of Japanese ryokan slippers with cute designs in felt and The Plant Society will host indoor plant care workshops at both events.

For Sydney visitors there will also be nail art workshops with Kester Black + Trophy Wife and in Melbourne Abbey Rich and Sandra Eterovic will share their creative process, knowledge, and insights in block printing and portrait drawing.


The Big Design Market consistently delivers diversity, and excitement to its visitors every year by featuring new talent alongside established independent brands. The lineup for 2017 includes award-winning designers, internationally renowned creatives and innovative social enterprises – here are four of our favourites:

Georgia Perry is an Australian graphic artist whose impressive client list includes Kit Kat, Clinique and The New York Times Magazine. Her own brand of accessories sells in over 200 stores around the world, including Collette Paris. (Melb)

Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency is a community of artists from Fitzroy Crossing in W.A. Mangkaja Arts began as an arm of Karrayili Adult Education Centre, first established in 1981 for local people who wanted to learn the English language. The initiative provided a place where people could study and paint their personal stories, bush trips and histories.

Simply Native Japan represents a selection of highly skilled artisans from Japan, including award­‐winning designer Shinya Kobayashi, who create hand-­‐made chefs knives, gardening scissors and pottery. These artisans aim to preserve traditional Japanese techniques, passed down over centuries. (Syd only)

Magpie Goose is a new fashion social enterprise created by Maggie McGowan with the help of a Kickstarter campaign that netted $100K. Her mission is to create sustainable jobs in the fashion industry for indigenous people in remote Northern Territory communities. The clothing is designed and printed in these communities and then sold through art galleries within the Northern Territory. This will be the first time Magpie Goose will be showing and selling their range outside of the NT.

For information on all the happening of the 2017 Big Design Market head to the website.

Key Dates:

Sydney Royal Hall of Industries
Moore Park Fri 24
Nov 10am‐8pm
Sat 25 Nov 10am­‐7pm
Sun 26 Nov 10am­‐5pm

Royal Exhibition Building
Carlton Gardens
Fri 1 Dec 10am‐9pm
Sat 2 Dec 10am­‐7pm
Sun 3 Dec 10am‐5pm

More green updates