17 years since its birth and global design platform Semi Permanent is returning to its home of Sydney. Bringing in a slew of prolific creatives and curious minds, the three day summit set to be held at Carriageworks will showcase diverse expressions of creativity all anchored on the theme of ‘TRUTH’.
Playing host to an array of installations, workshops, exhibitions, experiences, parties, networking opportunities and more, its ever-growing lineup for 2019 is huge. Amongst 32 speakers and counting, key visionaries include Erica Dorn lead designer for Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs, Michael Kobori, VP of social and environmental sustainability at Levi Strauss & Co and Michael Leon, current Global Creative Director of Sonos. It’s a vast range of creatives and with the opportunity to attend one, two or three days, the event has been reformatted to provide relevance for a range of attendees.
Questioning the environment, the power of design and the necessary ingredients for success, the festival of sorts will coincide with the VIVID Festival, Sydney.
And to understand the event from the very roots, ICON caught up with Semi Permanent founder Murray Bell.
ICON: Semi Permanent will be in its 17th year. How do you think the event has grown since its birth?
Murray Bell (MB): “Semi Permanent still holds design as it’s north star, although the meaning to that word certainly has changed – back then it was almost only considered as graphic design, but it’s obviously so much more. Along the way, there has been some significant changes to the format and the way we work. Our live events are much more of a festival vibe these days – talks, workshops, exhibitions, installations, parties, all together. We’re also working a lot more closely with these elite artists and forward-thinking companies to craft great experiences for audiences.”
ICON: Anchored on the theme of ‘TRUTH’, why do you think this concept is important in society today?
MB: “I think it’s a question that we should each ask ourselves personally and professionally in the decisions we make. I think it’s a theme that can be applied to the biggest and smallest of decisions in our creative process – this choice over that one, who we work with, why we put in that extra effort… We do live in a time where messages from brands, people and governing bodies are loud and readily-shared, it’s good to look for the truth in all this.”
ICON: How do you think Sydney’s creative scene differs from overseas cities?
MB: “Sydney and Australia is getting really strong creatively. I personally appreciate the respite it provides from the noise around the world, but also the ambition to create things they really resonate with people.”
ICON: Is there someone who continues to inspire your own creative self?
MB: “Plenty of people for many different reasons, but if I may, I think there are a few companies are shining at the moment – Patagonia for their giving back to the community and environment and A24 who are very committed to telling stories they believe in.”
ICON: What can attendees expect from Semi Permanent, 2019?
MB: “To have some fun, meet a lot of people you want to meet and a lot you never expected to be so inspiring and relevant. To be well taken care of through the program, the event book, the exhibitions and experiences, and to see the best designers on the planet in one place.”
Semi Permanent 2019 will run from May 23 -25. For more information and tickets, visit here.