The Big Design Market “Almost Winter” At Royal Exhibition Building

Fri 24th May, 2024 – Sun 26th May, 2024
Royal Exhibition Building
9 Nicholson Street, Carlton 3053
Price: Adults: $6 + Booking fee and Kids 12 years & under: free
Hundreds of Australia and New Zealand’s favourite designers and makers are back at the Royal Exhibition Building for three days in May, alongside stalls serving snacks, sweets, coffee and matcha.

The Big Design Market returns to the Royal Exhibition Building this May, transforming the building with its “Almost Winter” theme. It brings with it nearly 200 distinctive designers and makers, selling thousands of carefully crafted goods. Makers come from near and far, with stallholders bringing wares from Australia, Japan, Amsterdam, Berlin and elsewhere.

From Friday May 24 to Sunday May 26, designers with a focus on ethical production, sustainability, quality and creativity converge, presenting shoppers with a three-day shopping extravaganza. And with winter almost upon us, it’s an ideal time to stock up on some cosy wares for the chilly weather. And in good news, the Big Design Market is bringing back its crowd-favourite showbags this year. With a different, surprise bag on offer each day for $25, you’ll take home $120 worth of value with each bag, showcasing the best of the vendors on display.

The annual event always presents plenty of fashion choices. This year, Haus of Dizzy is on hand with bold, statement-making jewellery that celebrates Indigenous culture, Ebony Bolts brings bright and colourful clothing and accessories, and Otto & Spike is on-site with locally produced knitwear. There’s also plenty for the kids, with Bubbles for Poppet’s handcrafted wooden toys and clothes, and Tiny Twinkle’s range of bibs and dishware designed to make mealtime fun again – for kids and parents.

Pets are well taken care of, too. Snoot Style has everything you need to keep your furry friends well protected and warm on their walks; Howler Collection has step-in harnesses, as well as leads and collars for both dogs and cats; and Houndsome has a range of luxurious products for dogs – merino blankets, anyone?

Whether you’re shopping for gifts or just for yourself, it’s well worth checking out the homewares. Carla Dinnage Ceramics is all about handmade vases, jugs, bowls and wall hangings in colourful designs; Celia Loves has you covered for candles and scented sprays; and Lawz Drawz does illustrated scenes of favourite Melbourne cafes, restaurants and pubs.

Plenty of food and drink vendors will be on hand if you work up an appetite shopping. St Ali is on coffee duty, or you can pick up a matcha from Matcha Yu Tea. There’s also bao from Wonderbao; pizza from 400 Gradi; gnocchi, panini and salads from That’s Amore Cheese; pies from Wonder Pies; and lots more.

For sweet treats, try Portuguese tarts from Casa Nata, ice-cream from Billy Van Creamy, doughnuts from All Day Donuts and confectionery from Sweet Addiction.

Every year, the Big Design Market also works with local artists to create large-scale installations for display. In 2024, First Nations artist Emma Hollingsworth’s design will hang from the great dome of the Royal Exhibition Building.

There’s plenty more on the line-up – see the full list of vendors online. Entry is $6 for adults and free for kids under 12. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door. Buying tickets will put you into the draw to win a prize pack from the Big Design Market, which includes a bike from Lekker Bikes, a Mulganai print and much more.

Opening hours:
Fri 11am–8pm
Sat 10am–7pm
Sun 10am–5pm

This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with The Big Design Market.