My favourite event during State of Design is Design : Made : Trade. It’s a showcase and market for small manufacturers and designer / makers, some local and some from interstate. Lighting, furniture, jewellery, stationery, ceramics, household goods – it’s all there.

Some of my highlights this year:

Karton. Living with a cardboard box never looked so good. I LOVED the low-lying Paperpedic bed (solid and very comfortable) which packs flat and can be stored in a cupboard or under another bed for lucky houseguests, the shelving units which you can paint in all sorts of colours and most of all their ram, part of their ‘Barnyard’ method of storage. I went online to buy a ram and it’s sold out already! But I’m told that new stock will be arriving in about a week.

Write to Me. I love the fitout of this stationery stall, especially the miniature typewriter that was apparently sourced from a store in Doncaster. Sadly, the machine doesn’t type teeny-tiny letters.

Edible Islands. Being an apartment dweller and quasi-green-thumb I like the idea that these planters designed for growing plants and veges on roof gardens, backyards and urban areas. Even better, they can be fit into lifts, through doors and up stairs. The planters are designed in Melbourne, made in Pakenham from 100% recycled plastic and come in a bunch of different colours.

DesignByThem. A Sydney-based design studio with a naive aesthetic. The cute StemTree brings a little bit of the outdoors to your indoors. It is gorgeous but unfortunately out of my price range.

Acewood & Mejo‘s Emotion Machine. Strap into their bike, start pedalling to power the car to play the music. As you pedal faster, your heartbeat increases and the music becomes more intense. The motion of your head and your mood’s brain waves are transformed into visuals on screen.

Chandelier and lamp by Jorge Criollo-Carrillo for Jam Factory. Jam Factory is a studio/gallery/shop in Adelaide which provides Associate training for tertiary-educated artists and designers. Staff and Associates work on Jam Factory products and commissioned pieces as well as their own work and commercialise it under the Jam Factory umbrella. I loved this chandelier by industrial designer Jorge Criollo-Carrillo made from unvarnished wood on the outside and smoked wood on the inside, barely treated with varnish. The lamp is made from walnut and oak and shares the same organic texture and shape as the chandeliers. Simply breathtaking.

The Traveller. Gift packaging for wine that’s safe to post! The cardboard is produced from recycled board using a  minimum of 95% post-consumer waste and is printed with various designs, including some specifically Melbourne ones like Federation Square and Southern Cross station. The packaging has been tested to the same extent as Australian wine packaging and has been dropped from 7 storeys just to check your bottle of wine will be ok in the gentle hands of Australia Post. There’s a space to write your personal message so it’s your greeting card as well. I loved it much I bought one ($6) even though I couldn’t think of anyone I was going to be gift-giving wine.

Design Made Trade is on 21-22 July for trade and 23-24 July for public entry, 10-5pm all days.