With so many designer goods now manufactured in large numbers, sometimes we forget that “design” stems from creativity and originality.

“Design Festa” reminds us of that originality by offering spaces to around 10,000 artists, who are given free rein to display their artwork, handicrafts or give performances. This biannual festival is now in its 20th year, with this being the first installment of its 39th event. Always a huge affair, there will be 3,000 booths offering goods and entertainment not only from Japan but also from 17 other countries.

Participants hail from all backgrounds — from amateurs to professionals — and items for sale include drawings, illustrations, accessories, T-shirts, dolls, utensils, candles and much more. Sixty-five of the booths will be exhibited in a darkened space to show off lighting goods.

Performance arts include music concerts, fashion shows and live painting. Cosplay dressers are also welcome, but in the spirit of originality, the dress code states that all costumes must be unique and no copyrighted characters will be allowed to enter the fair.

Design Festa vol. 39 takes place May 17 and 18 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the West Hall of Tokyo Big Sight. Admission costs ¥1,800 for two days and ¥1,000 for a single day. Some booths will be set up for one day only. For more information, visit www.designfesta.com

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