Brunswick Design District
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 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.
RMIT, together with its partners, 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.
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.
Key spaces and buildings within the BDD are located in central Brunswick, but its boundaries aren’t fixed. Its activities, collaborations, opportunities and events will have an impact in Brunswick and beyond.