Connecting people, places and partnerships
The Brunswick Design District connects people, places and partnerships to strengthen the existing creative community and encourage new enterprises to set up and grow.
We are building upon Brunswick’s creative heritage, to position the district as a nationally and globally recognised hub for innovation, creativity and design, that supports the growth of local creative industries, and as a result, other businesses in the district.
The BDD: a creative partnership
The Brunswick Design District was formed through a partnership between RMIT University, Merri-bek City Council and Creative Victoria, to create a distinct design and creative district in the heart of Brunswick.
We are harnessing our institutional strengths, local, global and industry knowledge; and land, buildings and shared assets, to provide systems and structures that will support a thriving and resilient creative community and economy.
Our key focus areas include: Partnerships / Platforms / Places / People / Pathways & Proficiencies.
We will support the design ecosystem and economy by aiding in the renewal and recovery from the impacts of COVID-19, by building local resilience, and strengthening and densifying the design and creative ecosystem. As a result, Brunswick will be positioned as a nationally and globally recognised design and creative precinct with a thriving creative sector.
This will be achieved through placemaking, urban transformation, knowledge systems and local governance.
This will connect people and places, strengthen pathways to education and employment, grow jobs and enterprises and link and transform buildings and infrastructure to create shared and affordable spaces for collaboration and creativity.
Brunswick: an iconic creative and cultural hub
Brunswick has been shaped by numerous waves of migration, creating a proudly diverse population and a mix of enterprise and opportunity.
It is valued for its culture: its people and places, neighbourhoods and open spaces, studios, music venues and galleries, cafes and bars, events and festivals, and its boundless creative energy.
Home to a wide variety of creative industries, businesses, creative practitioners and world-class design research and education, Brunswick enjoys the preservation of its history and a wealth of opportunities for its future.
A creative history
The Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation, are the traditional owners of the land, now known as Brunswick. The area was originally used as a hunting place.
Brunswick is one of Melbourne’s oldest suburbs and has a significant design history and heritage. This is reflected in its architecture – buildings such as the Retreat Hotel, Mechanics Institute and Brunswick Town Hall – and in the variety of design and creative industries and enterprises that have called the suburb home since the mid-1800’s.
Its historic industries included clay pits, quarries, brickworks and foundries, and early local manufacturing including textiles, footwear, hosiery, clothing, brick and rope production.
Today, it’s home to a richly diverse creative ecosystem of artists, makers, musicians, producers and designers of all disciplines; music venues, galleries, bars, cafes and a multitude of other businesses.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on the creative sector and economy.
We are here to help support, grow and advocate for the design and creative sector, and in turn support all businesses in Brunswick.
We will help build resilience by providing affordable spaces, world-class education, research and training opportunities, and networks, connections and events.
A sustainable future
Combating climate change
The BDD partners are committed to taking action on climate change and working towards a sustainable and zero carbon future.
BDD partner buildings will embrace environmental design principles to reduce environmental impacts and make them healthier, more comfortable places to work and create.
The BDD encourages creative businesses and practitioners to work in a sustainable manner to minimise impact on the environment; and where possible, to source local materials, products and equipment.