Semi-Permanent must be due a name change. Back in 2009 for its sixth year, the landmark New Zealand design event is positively durable. It could also be called the granddaddy of a new wave of creative Kiwi events.
Simon Velvin of organisers The Church says Semi-Permanent is now established enough that it has its own momentum. “Now we get to start playing with it. We’re working out how we can shake the event. Every year we try to grow it, and this year we’ve grown it through the quality of the speakers.”
Highlights include David Carson, the designer famous for introducing grunge design through magazines like Ray Gun, graphic artist Alexia Sinclair (see story overleaf), Harry Pearce of collaborative design studio Pentagram, British animator Philip Hunt of Studio AKA and visual effects specialist Matt Aitken of Weta Digital.
Look out too for Arvind Palep and Aaron Duffy of New York and London motion graphics studio 1stAveMachine, known for their work for large brands like Audi. “They’re a couple of absolute rock stars,” says Velvin.
So why does Semi-Permanent consistently get great speakers? It’s not for the money. “We don’t pay speakers at all,” says Velvin. “We offer them an amazing experience. It’s that classic Kiwi way of being good people, straight up. We really care about the experience they get out of it.
“The event is about all things design, and about inspiration. We buy into this experience together—and there’s no brief.”
My miserable heart
Don’t miss the Semi-Permanent pre-show: Heart of Misery, featuring the work of Tanya ‘Misery’ Thompson. It opens on Thursday, August 13 at 7pm at the Plaything Gallery.
We Can Create is a website that allows users to upload their own art and to contribute to the works of others. Semi-Permanent calls it a graphic experiment, and is offering tickets and prizes for the best designs. Check it out here.
Editor's note: the print edition of Idealog mistakenly said Darren Aronofsky was visiting with 1stAveMachine. The writer responsible—me—has been reassigned to drearier duties.