With more than 200 designers attracting almost 60,000 shoppers, Australia’s largest independent-designer shopping weekend was bursting in Melbourne this year – hence its expansion to Sydney.
“In Melbourne we reached pretty much the legal limit of people for the building we were in,” says TBDM director Simon Obarzanek. The Sydney debut of the BDM will happen at the Royal Hall of Industries. “We had people emailing and Facebooking us saying, ‘When are you coming to Sydney?’, so we thought we’d give it a go,” he says.
Creative workshops, art installations, a dedicated kids creative-play area and extensive food and drink offerings from local taste makers are among the highlights of the event that showcases original, quality and ethically produced designs for sale over a three-day weekend. “It’s called the Big Design Market because we are big in size but we are also big in ideas and the kind of maverick, original and interesting brands we present,” says Obarzanek.
Gemma Patford, Sibella Court, Home-Work and Beci Orpin are among the designers and design companies that will share their creative process, knowledge and insight in workshops. Participants can even make a piece to take home. “Shoppers can connect directly with the designers themselves that they wouldn’t otherwise have an opportunity to meet,” says Obarzanek.
Stallholders will sell products spanning homewares, textiles, lifestyle, fashion, furniture, lighting and stationary. And Sydney paper artist Benja Harney will install a large-scale sculptural work in the venue. Artist Penny Ferguson of Min Pin has also been commissioned to create a children’s play area. Ferguson’s magical forest installation will bring to life illustrations from her recently released children’s book, Wild Lumploaf, and children can join Ferguson to create their own Wild Lumploaf mobile to take home.
Also on-site will be food, craft beer, coffee and wine. Messina, Archie Rose Distillery and Mary’s have created exclusive flavours, drinks and burgers for TBDM. “I wanted to create an amazing food and drink experience so you can have a good time even if you don’t really enjoy shopping,” says Obarzanek.
TBDM’s limited-edition designer showbags have become highly sought after over the past four years, often selling out within minutes of the doors opening. A limited number of showbags will available to purchase at the event each day. They include up to $200 worth of design pieces from selected stallholders for $15.
The Big Design Market will be held at the Royal Hall of Industries, Moore Park on November 25–27. thebigdesignmarket.com