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Feed your head at New Zealand’s largest design event Semi Permanent. Proudly presented by The Church, the inspirational design forum returns to Auckland on Friday 15 and Saturday 16 August 2008.

Bringing together some of the best creative talent from New Zealand and around the world, this year’s event looks set to be bigger and better than ever with 12 speakers in total - almost twice that of previous years – spread over two days.

The first six speakers to be confirmed include: legendary US graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister; from the UK, software developer, artist and digital whiz kid Toxi and brand specialists SEA Design; from Australia, graphic designers Design by Pidgeon and cult magazine Dumbo feather; and from New Zealand, graphic design duo The Wildnerness.

From a broad range of disciplines including graphics, illustration, branding, advertising, motion graphics, fashion, film production, animation and more, the remaining speakers will be announced over the coming months.

An annual multi-disciplinary design forum, Semi-Permanent is the only event of its type in Australasia. With sister events held in Sydney, Perth and Brisbane, New Zealand organisers The Church describe it as “a gathering of fresh talent, raw ideas, conversation and visual splendour”.

Relevant for anyone studying, working or interested in creativity or design, Semi-Permanent is about creativity, inspiration and passion says organiser Simon Velvin.

“It’s an opportunity to see and hear from leading creatives from around the world as they share their work, knowledge, experience and expertise, and a chance to learn, soak up ideas and get inspiration from a variety of creative sources with other like-minded people.”

New Zealand’s largest design event, Semi-Permanent Auckland has up until now been a one-day phenomenon, with the past few years involving sell out crowds of up to 1,600 people. Now in its fifth year, organisers feel the timing is right to expand over two days - in line with the Sydney event - and increase the number of speakers to incorporate a broader range of design disciplines.

“By doing this we can offer greater variety in our speakers and bring together a real mix of creative fields. People can choose whether to come for the whole two days or dip in and out.”

All attendees receive the legendary Semi-Permanent goodie bag worth over $80 which includes the international Semi-Permanent book. And to keep the vibe going night as well as day, there are two associated exhibitions and the wrap party, more details to come soon.

Tickets are $190 for waged and $110 for students and include entry to the event, exhibition and wrap party and the goodie-bag. Tickets are available through The Edge Ticketing Service –, 09 357 3355 or 0800 BUY TICKETS (0800 289 842).

Semi-Permanent NZ 08, Friday 15 & Saturday 16 August 2008 at the Aotea Centre, The Edge®, 50 Mayoral Drive, Auckland. Proudly sponsored in New Zealand by the British Council, Mini and Spicers Paper. For more information, visit


Stefan Sagmeister, Sagmeister, US / Graphic design

Infamous for slashing DIY text onto his own skin for a now iconic 90s poster, Stefan Sagmeister is considered one of the most important graphic designers in the world today.

Forming the New York based Sagmeister Inc. in 1993, Sagmeister has designed for clients as diverse as the Rolling Stones, HBO and the Guggenheim Museum. Having been nominated five times for the Grammies he finally won one for the Talking Heads boxed set. Stefan has also earned practically every important international design award.

A long-standing artistic collaborator with musicians David Byrne and Lou Reed, Sagmeister is the author of the design monograph "Made You Look" published by Booth Clibborn Editions in 2001. A second comprehensive book titled "Things I Have Learned In My Life So Far" is out this year.

Solo shows on Sagmeister Inc's work have been mounted in Zurich, Vienna, New York, Berlin, Tokyo, Osaka, Prague, Cologne, Seoul and Miami. He teaches in the graduate department of the School of Visual Art in New York and lectures extensively on all continents.

A native of Austria, he received his MFA from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and, as a Fulbright Scholar, a master's degree from Pratt Institute in New York.

Karsten Schmidt, Toxi, UK / Software developer and designer

Karsten Schmidt (aka Toxi) is a software developer, (re)searcher and artist with a strong interest in computational design of all forms. For the past 15 years he's been laterally involved in a wide range of digital disciplines.

With his newly founded studio PostSpectacular, London-based Karsten is actively exploring the growing possibilities at the intersection of interaction design, generative design and software development, often within a wider branding context. Working in cross-disciplinary way with a network of other creatives, his design approach is based on treating ideas as software at the heart, which in turn informs all other facets of each project.

Karsten is an advocate of open source thinking, contributing to the ‘Processing’ project and books about programming and graphic design. His work has been featured in the press and online and exhibited internationally.

Clients and projects include: Nokia, exclusive Heathrow Terminal 5 and Flagship store content together with Universal Everything; Lexus, interactive installation at Detroit Auto Show 2008, with Spinifex/GPJ; Nike, generative motiongraphics for AKQA; Audi TT; Channel 4, New Shoots intro/title sequence; and Faber&Faber, generative book covers for new on-demand print service.

Previous experience includes: interactive installations for Nokia, KEF Muon, Fiat, London College of Fashion (D&AD nominated two years in a row); grand design/motion graphics/generative software development for Nokia and Swisscom; and leading roles on various projects for Levi's (, Virgin Atlantic and Microsoft.

Bryan Edmondson, SEA Design, UK / Brand specialist

Born in Lancashire and studying Graphic Design at Newcastle Polytechnic. Bryan Edmondson began his career at Roundel and then together with John Simpson founded the multi-disciplinary design consultancy SEA in 1997.

Edmondson’s work touches many disciplines from corporate identity and art direction to print, packaging and information design. He has amassed a diverse and impressive client list and produced a wide range of acclaimed work for clients such as Matthew Williamson, GF Smith, EMI and the contemporary furniture brand, Beyon.

His work has been widely published and has received recognition in numerous national and international design awards. During his career he has lectured at many UK Universities and at events such as D&AD, Typographic Circle and the Annual London event, Four Designers.

Kate Bezar, Dumbo feather, Australia / Magazine

Aussie-based Kiwi Kate Bezar is best known as the founder and publisher of ‘Dumbo feather, pass it on.’, an award-winning ‘mook’ (book x magazine) featuring in depth interviews with individuals who have followed their dreams and taken the road-less-trampled. For someone who studied Chemistry at Otago University and then donned a suit for five years as a management consultant, heading into media and publishing was quite a leap, but it's one that has paid off for Kate and Dumbo feather's devoted readers worldwide. Now in its fifteenth edition Kate's plans for Dumbo feather include videocasts, an audio 'mook', and a 'best of' book.

David Pidgeon, Design by Pidgeon, Australia / Graphic designer

Melbourne-based Design By Pidgeon has built reputation for creating unique design solutions for a range of clients. No two briefs are the same and their approach varies accordingly. Working across a diverse range of design disciplines, the outcome is both relevant and tailored, underpinned by their trademark objective idea generation.

David’s passion for design excellence can be best witnessed in the evolution of his work in the last decade. The son of a mathematician and of Italian/Anglo Saxon descent, David has embarked on a journey in design influenced by the way he sees the world. He pursues diversity in clients and output, which in turn employs a curious mix of playful yet intelligent, precise yet intuitive output. His experiments in typographic form is a process that he has pursued since studying at Swinburne University, and one of the creative threads that draws all his work together.

David’s work has been published in Graphis Magazine, Communication Arts and many other Australian publications, and he has awards from Australian Graphic Design Association, Australian Writers and Art Directors Club and Melbourne Advertising and Design Club. At the 2004 AGDA Awards he received two Pinnacles, the highest and rarely awarded accolade.

In 2006 David was inducted into Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI), an elite international club of the world’s leading graphic designers and artists - its members responsible for the identity design of most of the world’s top corporations.

Clients and projects include: brand development for Melbourne Docklands, Parks Victoria, City of Wodonga and Geelong Gallery; environmental signage for Melbourne Central and Heide Museum of Modern Art; packaging for Di Stasio Wines; and book design for the Royal Australian Institute of Architects.

Kelvin Soh and Simon Oosterdijk, The Wilderness, Auckland / Graphic design

In spring 2003, Kelvin Soh partnered with Simon Oosterdijk to create Auckland-based The Wilderness, a fluid design practice combining commercial engagements with conceptual practice across a variety of media.

Past projects include sleeve artwork for New Zealand bands Dimmer, Goodshirt, Che Fu and Concord Dawn, as well as music videos for Dimmer's 'Come Here', Funkstörung’s ‘Generation Fat’ (K7!, Germany) and Concord Dawn’s ‘Never Give Up On Love’. Their relationship with local music over the years has earned them a Tui Award and several nominations for Best Album Cover at the NZ Music Awards, and seen them repeatedly featured in Rip It Up magazine’s list of 50 Best NZ Album Covers. In 2006, they exhibited at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art in a group show of video makers and animators for U2’s cut and paste music video, ‘Windows in The Skies’.

Other notable projects include working with the et al. collective on design and promotion for New Zealand’s presence at the Venice Biennale in 2005; in-store campaigns for London fashion boutiques ‘Buddhahood’ and ‘Swear’; and ‘Tiger Translate’, Tiger Beer’s global arts event platform for emerging artists and designers. Longstanding collaborators with 42 Below Vodka, The Wilderness were included in the 2006 Tokyo Type Directors Club Annual for their design of the ‘420’ Spring Water bottle. The ‘420’ bottle also won ‘best bottle in PET’ at the 2006 Bottledwaterworld Design Awards in Italy, and went on to earn them two nominations at the 2007 D&AD Awards in London, the only nominations from Australasia that year.

Reflecting their holistic view of practice, their activities also include curating design shows at St Paul St Gallery in Auckland, speaking at local design institutions and initiating Creative New Zealand's arts index, NZ Contemporary, which was used to promote New Zealand art at the Venice, Documenta, and Munster Biennales in 2007.

The Wilderness and/or their work has featured in various publications local and abroad including: Maomao publications (Barcelona), Die Gestalten Verlag (Germany), IDN (Hong Kong), Pavement (RIP), Monument (Australia), Empty (Australia), Pulp, Black, Remix, Rip It Up, Idealog and Metro.


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