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Meet the Maker: The Design Farm

As the Young Designers Markets weave their way through Stanley Street Plaza every Sunday for a mega month of markets, we sit down with a feature young designer weekly to showcase the diversity of untapped and high calibre talent that you’ll find at the markets. This week: The Design Farm.

WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT CAN WE FIND AT YOUR STALL?
You’ll find a selection of local items all designed and handmade in the design farm studio. I strive to make these as accessible and sustainable as possible. You’ll see accessories (earrings and studs), leather goods (key fobs and leather cuffs), bookmarks (over 200 designs), mobiles and more. Oh, and I’m Dean, designer, creative director and founder of the The Design Farm.

WHY DO YOU LOVE YOUR PRODUCT?
Mostly because it seems to engender joy amongst those who encounter it. It’s an outlet for the creative muse and presents so many opportunities – a catalyst for serendipitous conversation, opportunities to travel and a perpetual permit for exploration. It enables me to design. It’s ridiculously good fun.

WHAT WAS YOUR MOTIVATION BEHIND OPENING A MARKET STALL?
Primarily to present items that are locally designed and made to a broad audience. To sustain my practice and provide the alchemistic time and space to develop ideas and bring them to reality. Markets provide the great fortune of meeting people who like what I do, so much so they are willing to swap their hard earned for what I make. I’m very grateful to all who have supported me so far.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT SOUTH BANK’S MARKETS?
The diversity of offerings and people, so much for so many – the dynamic variety of sights and sounds and the brilliant locations. South Bank truly is a hub and hive of activity with international, interstate and local visitors constantly drawn to the changing activities and offerings within the Markets and Parklands.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART ABOUT BEING A DESIGNER?
The disparate challenges, the very public nature of the practice, the ethereal discipline of corralling ideas into reality. It’s an opportunity to develop mastery, autonomy and purpose with a side order of validation – most of all it’s a seamless life worthy adventure. I’m very lucky and very grateful to be able to do what I do.

WHERE DO YOU GO FOR INSPIRATION?
It’s everywhere – it’s a distillation of technique, influence, process, material, desire, wishful outcome, natural and built environments, moments, attention, attitude, accident, luck, sweat and mindfulness combined with lots of staring at the deep deep sky while I lay in the sand after my daily run.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR BUDDING CREATIVES?
Figure out who you are, where you are and where you want to go. Remember that if you don’t have the skills when you start out that you’ll surely acquire them along the way. Be disciplined – keep your eyes on the prize and believe in yourself, the sea is so wide and your boat so small – but you can do it.

WHAT EXCITES YOU WHEN LOOKING AHEAD FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
So many things – opportunities everywhere – unfulfilled niche – lots of new designs on the drawing board – new materials and processes to explore – mountains of new challenges and improvements. I haven’t come this far just to come this far. Per aspera ad astra.

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