Third Drawer Down is Melbourne’s home of kook. And giant objects.
I often take visitors to Third Drawer Down‘s curated selection of the ‘best of’ museum shops as it’s easy to miss if you’re not looking for it. The small store is a Pandora’s box of fun, useful and not-so-useful products, some designed in house and some brought in locally and internationally.
Third Drawer Down started out producing high quality tea towels (hence the name – doesn’t everyone store their tea towels in the third drawer down?) as a means of disseminating art in an affordable way and to challenge the idea of what constituted ‘art’ in the first place.
Founder Abigail Crompton has since collaborated with renowned contemporary artists and galleries from all around the world to create design products, including the Tate Modern and MOMA. Their latest artist collaboration is with Chinese artist/activist Ai Weiwei and they’ve exclusively produced a silk scarf, linen tea towel and handkerchief featuring some of his most famous (and provocative) works.
Every time I go in there the silence is punctuated by random guffaws as people spot deliciously humorous items such as giant Googly eyes, funny stationery and mop slippers (which my Mum uses, no kidding).
In amongst the weird and wonderful are some useful items perfect for gifting, such as these city guides by Herb Lester Associates.
Currently in the back area you’ll find the Open Close Mart, an eccentric ‘convenience’ store and exhibition space where works of art sit alongside real supermarket, consumer objects.
Spot the difference between the soda can speakers and the bottles of Bosco syrup, the Swiss cheese door stopper and the marshmallow creme…
You can even buy a candy bar from the working vending machine, which apparently gets quite a lot of use as it’s restocked every 1-2 weeks!
If you’re after something cool for yourself, your house or your friends, or you just fancy a giant toothbrush, then Third Drawer Down is the place to go. There’s nowhere like it in Melbourne, and I’m guessing, the world!
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