In 2019 we engaged Amaze, the peak body for autistic people and their supporters in Victoria, to undertake an environmental audit of The Big Design Market Melbourne. We worked with Amaze to identify ways to improve the visitor experience for individuals with sensory sensitivities. You can find information below about our designated Chill-out Zone along with the best times to visit The Big Design Market.
For general information about The Big Design Market and what to expect, please visit About Us.
When to visit
To enjoy the market in a quieter and more relaxed setting we recommend attending on Friday between 12noon and 5pm or on Saturday between 2pm and 7pm. Sunday tends to be the busiest day of the event.
We have created a designated area at The Big Design Market where visitors can take a break from the crowds. The Chill-out Zone is specifically for people who require time out in a low-sensory setting without having to leave the event. Located near the Nicholson St entrance to the event and partitioned off from the main thoroughfares, the area is equipped with a small table, chairs and a play tent.
There is a dedicated area for kids activities at the back of the event (Rathdowne St end of the building) where children and their families can participate in calming activities including origami, craft and colouring-in. Tables and chairs are provided for children, and staff are available to assist with the activities. Coffee and snacks are available next to the Kids Area.
Other low traffic areas
Located off to the side of the main seating area, behind the 400 Gradi pizza stall, we have created an area for visitors to sit away from the main thoroughfare and busy eating areas. This area is lit with house lights only so will be slightly darker than the rest of the event. Small stools are provided and visitors are also welcome to sit on the floor picnic-style. Please pick up a visitor map at the info desk when you arrive.
Tickets are not available for purchase prior to the event – please pay at the door. You can pay by card (we use Square card readers and receipts are available upon request) or you can use cash. There are several ticket points so queuing will be minimal. We recommend entering the venue via the doors opposite the Melbourne Museum as it tends to be less busy than the Nicholson St entrance.
There may be a queue when the doors open at 10am but it usually moves quickly and you'll be through the doors within a few minutes. If you're arriving early to buy a showbag, there will be a separate queue with a waiting time of around 10 minutes when doors open.
Please download our Quiet Zone map (PDF) showing the location of the Quiet Zone and other key areas in the venue, or pick up a copy at the information desk when you arrive.
We'd love to hear your feedback on how we can improve your experience at The Big Design Market. Please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org