The start of November saw the return of the annual pre-Christmas Design Market at Melbourne’s Federation Square. It’s been a few years since I last attended but my expectations were high for the calibre of original designed products that awaited! For those who haven’t been before, it’s held twice a year at federation Square in part of the undercover car park and features new and bespoke products form emerging local designers of homewares, lifestyle products, stationery/printed illustration, bags, jewellery, fashion, interior décor and furniture. With a DJ pumping the tunes while I browsed the dark undercover scene, I was really impressed by: “Koa” stoneware cups and “Tufts” handmade porcelain tableware – Both catching my eye for their use of colour and originality.
KOA by Kaitlin (www.koabykaitlin.com.au) – Having seen this designer before at the “Decor and Design” trade show earlier this year, I was again blown away by their beach inspired and brightly coloured tea & coffee cups. These cups are stoneware (that’s pottery to you and me) and offer an interesting juxtaposition in the tableware market next to your average coffee mug or the popular sustainable and reusable “KeepCups” (who incidentally started selling at the Design Market at Fed Square some 5 or 6 years ago… & now they sell to over 32 countries – what an amazing success story!). http://www.keepcup.com.au
Tufts (www.tufts.com.au) – handmade porcelain tableware made me smile with their clean and simplistic design and use of colour. Their ‘Daisy’ range from designer Ingrid Tufts is made from brightly coloured porcelain and comes in a variety of colours and they even offer custom colour options. Handmade in Melbourne, the ranges includes bowls, egg cups, tea lights, plant pots and pendant lights and are dishwasher and microwave safe. I think I’ll be putting their pendant lights on my Christmas wish list!
Overall a nice day was had, but I couldn’t quite shake the feeling that this year’s Fed Square ‘design market’ had slightly fallen short of its original design appeal, personal bespoke charm that drew me along in the first place. However, with the wealth of local and exciting designers Melbourne has in spades, I have no doubt that next year’s Fed Square Design markets will be even bigger and better! Who knows…. you might even see some new 3MC products making their debut? The next Federation Square Design Market is scheduled for July 2015.