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Creative leaders set to inspire design communitity

For Immediate Release


International and local creative leaders set to inspire NZ design community

Designers and creatives looking for inspiration need look no further than Semi-Permanent 06.

Proudly presented by The Church and Design is Kinky, the international design forum returns to Auckland on Saturday 19 August with an outstanding line-up of international and local guest speakers.

From a diverse range of design fields including graphic design, animation, illustration, film and fashion, guests include UK-based graphic designers Åbäke and Build and animation legends tokyoplastic, French illustrator Geneviève Gauckler, and New Zealand’s own Taika Waititi and Huffer.

An edgy, one-day, annual event involving multiple disciplines, Semi-Permanent is the only event if its type in Australasia, described by organisers The Church as a gathering of fresh talent, raw ideas, conversation and visual splendour.

“Unlike other design conferences that focus on technology, Semi-Permanent is about the inspiration and passion that creative people have for their work,” says The Church’s Peter Dixon.

“Semi-Permanent puts New Zealand creatives on a world-stage alongside some of the most recognised and respected creative talent from around the globe.

“It’s an opportunity to listen to some of the best creatives in the world, to learn and soak up ideas and inspiration from a variety of creative sources, and to share the experience with lots of other people with similar interests.

“No matter what level in design you may be, from first year student to Creative Director, the wealth of knowledge and experience the speakers have is bound to inspire you in creating new and exciting work.”

Last year’s Auckland event attracted nearly 700 designers, creatives and graphic artists with international speakers including dixonbaxi, RESN and Vice magazine. Organisers hope this year’s event will attract 800 with new venue, the Aotea Centre, able to cater for larger crowds.

An art exhibition featuring the work of some of the speakers will run alongside the event, with a wrap party for those who just don’t want it all to end.

Semi-Permanent Auckland 06 is on Saturday 19 August 2006 from 10am to 5.30pm at the Aotea Centre, 50 Mayoral Drive, Auckland. Tickets cost $120 (waged) and $80 (student) and are available through Ticketek,

All attendees will receive a pack worth over $100, including the official 500-page Semi-Permanent book and other goodies, as well as free entry to the exhibition and wrap party.

An international phenomenon, Semi-Permanent will also visit Sydney, London and New York this year and is sponsored internationally by Diesel Clothing and Design Is Kinky (Sydney).

For more information, visit


Huffer (NZ)
Pioneering Kiwi street-style clothing designers ‘Huffer’ have cornered the industry and made them-selves a house-hold name in New Zealand. Their recent expansion into the international market has met with significant interest.

In the words of Huffer’s very own Dan Buckley and Steven Dunstan: "Huffer ain’t nothing but a street-style brand of improvisation, starting with hyper technical waterproof breathable outer wear, working their way up and down to coffee tables, steel bro's and jandals. Tokoroa born, Auckland raised New Zealand style fashion and culture, identity and excrement."

Geneviève Gauckler (France)
Paris-based artist Geneviève Gauckler creates lovable characters, blending them into everyday life scenes and turning a fantastical world into reality with her magical powers.

Geneviève has broad experience in the field of graphic design, illustration and art direction. Starting with French record label F Communications (Laurent Garnier, St Germain), she later worked with directors Kuntzel & Deygas on promos for Dimitri from Paris, Pierre Henry and Sparks, as well as commercials (e.g. Yves Saint Laurent’s Live Jazz), titles for French/German cultural TV-channel Arte and some short movies.

She has also art-directed the franco-nippon fanzine « Minimix ». In 1999, she was hired by the Internet company to create their online fashion magazine. Since 2001, Geneviève has been focusing on videos (Brigitte Fontaine some experimental videos with the collective Pleix), illustrations for various magazines, corporate identity (Hip), exhibitions (Colette store), and a comic book (L’Arbre Génialogique). She received recent exposure when Japanese publisher Gas Book released a book about her work.

Build (UK)
Michael C. Place was born in North Yorkshire, England in 1969. He graduated from Newcastle in 1990. He then went on to work at Trevor Jackson's Bite It! Studio. He then started work at The Designers Republic, Sheffield in 1992 where he worked for nine years on a diverse range of work predominantly in the music, arts and entertainment media fields. He was instrumental in developing the now oft-copied visual approach used in the ‘Wipeout’ games for PS2 as well as numerous music packaging for innovative gitch-electronic record label, Warp. He left tDR to go traveling in 2001.
On September 17, 2001 he started his own design company 'Build', with his wife Nicky. Build is a multi-disciplinary studio, working in the field of design for print across a wide selection of media including record sleeves/identities/advertising, typography and art direction.

Åbäke (UK)
Located in East London and made up of members Patrick Lacey, Benjamin Reichen, Kajsa Ståhl and Maki Suzuki, Åbäke sets a very different strategy in motion with their status as ‘Graphic Designers’.
Their output is eclectically varied and includes: collaborating with Belgian Fashion Designer Martin Margeila on the campaign for ‘6’, doing music graphics for French bands ‘Air’ and ‘Daft Punk’, co-owning a fashion / music label called ‘Kitsune’, co-producing an evolving architectural publication called ‘Sexy Machinery’, collaborating with furniture designer Martino Gamper on a one-night restaurant once a month called ‘Trattoria Al Capello’ and object based projects, a white jumpsuit-wearing, typographic performance at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and doing workshops at the Royal College of Art.
While seemingly discursive, their output does seem to reveal an underlying pursuit of “interconnectedness” and manifests itself in the redefinition of traditional relationships with the client / commissioner as well as the viewer / user.

Taika Waititi (NZ)

New Zealand director Taika Waititi has been involved in the New Zealand arts scene for years, as a visual artist, actor, writer and director.

Taika’s short film, “Two Cars, One Night”, was nominated for an Academy Award in 2005 and nearly won a Teddy Award in the 2004 Berlinale but unfortunately it “just wasn’t gay enough”. His other short film, “Tama Tu”, about a group of Maori soldiers in Italy during World War II has won awards at numerous international festivals. Taika also recently completed production on his first feature film, “Eagle vs. Shark” due for release within the next 35 years he says.

As an artist, Taika has experimented with photography and painting and recently illustrated Jo Randerson’s book of short stories, “The Keys to Hell”. He has also been collaborating with the architectural firm Wraight & Associates on a proposal for the “Wellington Gateway” project.

As a performer and comedian, he has been involved in some of New Zealand’s most innovative and successful productions. He has a strong background in comedy writing and performing and with fellow comedian Jemaine Clement, has won New Zealand’s top comedy award, the “Billy T” and Edinburgh’s “Spirit of the Fringe Award”.

Tokyoplastic (UK)

Andrew Cope reckons he was spawned by the unholy union between a many-tentacled daemon from a parallel universe and a prim but amazingly jutting Japanese schoolgirl who wore bobby socks, a pleated skirt and little while panties. Sam Lanyon Jones was born in Salisbury.

Andrew and Sam are tokyoplastic and together create some of the best motion and animation graphics in the world, working for clients such as Wieden & Kennedy, Sony, MTV, Guy Ritchie / Ska Films and Toyota.

That work has seen them win awards at Flash Forward 3D category 2003,4,5, Flash in the can 2004, the Sundance Online Film Festival 2005 Audience Award and a D&AD silver in 2005.


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