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Australian music industry specialists Debaser and UK interaction artist Joel Gethin Lewis have this week been confirmed to speak at Semi-Permanent08, completing an impressive line-up of speakers at this year's annual design event.

The inspirational design forum returns to Auckland on Friday 15 and Saturday 16 August with a total of 12 speakers representing some of the best creative talent from around the world.

From the Northern Hemisphere: US graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister and film /TV title designer and director Danny Yount; Canadian artist and illustrator Marian Bantjes; and UK brand specialists SEA Design and software developer and digital artist Toxi.

And from down-under: Australian design, film and production collective Collider and graphic designers Design by Pidgeon; Aussie-based ex-pats photographer Derek Henderson and cult magazine Dumbo Feather; and local design duo The Wilderness.

Previously a one-day phenomenon, this year's event has almost doubled in size to incorporate a broader range of design disciplines, with 12 speakers spread over two days.

A multi-disciplinary design and creative 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".

Now in its fifth year, Semi-Permanent is well and truly New Zealand's largest design event with the past two years involving sell-out crowds of up to 1,600 people.

Appealing to 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."

Of the decision to expand the event over two days, Simon says the move will allow organisers to offer greater variety in terms of 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."

This year's attendees get access to two associated exhibitions both being held at Webbs Gallery: 'Curvy 08' featuring works from 100 of the world's most exciting female graphic artists and illustrators, and 'Holly Melancholy' with new works by Misery and words by Tourettes. And if all that doesn't tire you out, there's also the wrap party being held at K'Rd venue 4:20 on the Saturday night.

Tickets are $190 for waged and $110 for students and include entry to the event, exhibitions and wrap party and the legendary Semi-Permanent goodie-bag worth over $80 which includes the international Semi-Permanent book. 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.

Danny Yount, US / Film and TV title director and designer

A self-taught designer, Danny Yount has exercised his natural talents to become on of today's top main title designers for film and television, as well as a photographer, commercial director and juror for D&AD, and has recently been elected into the Alliance Graphique Internationale. His work has earned many notable industry awards - TDC, BDA Gold, D&AS Silver, 3 Gold awards from the AIGA as well as an Emmy for his concept, design and direction of the opening sequence of HBO's Six Feet Under, which has been called "television's most gorgeous opening sequence". He has also received an Emmy nomination for The Grid's main title and a commemorative Emmy for designing the concept for the !Huff main title. At Prologue Films he designed and directed the feature film main title for the Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which the Hollywood Reporter has called "a title sequence worthy of the late Saul Bass" and has recently completed the credit sequence for Iron Man which has featured in Creativity magazine's top 5.


"He designs with a great sense for store and withy just the right amount of playfulness to keep his designs from being too serious. His reel is certainly worth seeing and then starting over and watching again. He cut it together with impeccable timing to the music that keeps you entertained throughout. A very hard task to achieve, and from the looks of it, he does it with ease."

- Motionographer

"strong, graphic gesturesexpressive colour €¦perfectly synched to the soundtrack, adding style and panache to the suspensive atmosphere of the intro. The viewer is effectively submerged in the crime plot of the film."

- Forget the Film, Watch the Titles

Marian Bantjes, Canada / Artist and illustrator

Marian Bantjes is a designer, artist and writer working internationally from her base on a small island off the west coast of Canada, near Vancouver. She was trained as a book typesetter (1984 - 1994) and was a straight-up graphic designer from 1994 - 2003. But it is her highly personal, obsessive and sometimes strange graphic work that has since brought her international recognition. Marian is known for her custom typography, detailed and lovingly precise vector art, her obsessive handwork, her patterning and ornamentation. Often hired to create custom art for magazines, advertising and special projects, Marian's work has an underlying structure and formality that frames its organic, fluid nature.

Her clients include Pentagram (Michael Bierut), Stefan Sagmeister, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bruce Mau Design, Young & Rubicam Chicago, Anni Kuan, Houghton Mifflin, Print Magazine, Wallpaper*, WIRED, The Guardian (UK), The New York Times, among others. She has also designed materials for the AIGA, TypeCon 2007, and the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC).

Her work has been featured in numerous design magazines, including IDEA (Japan), Eye, Communication Arts, STEP, Grafik (UK) and étapes (Paris); appears in numerous design compendiums, and will be published in a 120-page book by Pyramyd (France), as part of their design&designer series. In 2007, five pieces were accepted into the permanent collection of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (Smithsonian) 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.

Joel Gethin Lewis, UK / Interaction designer and artist

Joel Gethin Lewis is an interaction designer and artist. He has recently formed a company based around creating interactive experiences using open source tools. For the previous 3 ½ years he was the interaction designer at United Visual Artists, working with clients such as U2, Massive Attack, Nokia and the British Council.

Educated in London, he split his time between the Royal College of Art and working at Dazed & Confused magazine, where amongst other things he launched and assisted the photographer Rankin.

In other work he has collaborated with such varied clients as Benetton, Rem Koolhaus, IBM and Orange. He is one of the founders of the interaction design meet-up, This Happened.

Andrew van der Westhuyzen, Collider, Australia / Design, film and production collective

Best described as a design, film and production collective, Collider was founded in 2001 by Daniel Askill, Sam Zalaiskalns and Andrew van der Westhuyzen. While based in Sydney, Collider's creative influence is global, evident through its impressive portfolio of work and high-profile clients. ۬

Collider is guided by the belief that a company is only as good as its operational philosophy and practice. The ability to attract and inspire a talented core of creatives whilst exciting clients and evolving its collective creative voice has pinned Collider as a leading internationally renowned team that will continue to seamlessly merge the commercial with the unthinkably creative.

The breadth of Collider's work can be appreciated in its collective portfolio. Having worked on large-scale, commercial projects for international brands such as Levi's, Nike, Air France, Dior, Target, TDK and BMW, Collider has also taken on cultural projects for Sydney Dance Company, Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art and the Royal Australian Institute of Architects. Collider has a proven understanding of the music industry, building relationships with record labels EMI, Virgin, Universal Music and Ministry of Sound to create music videos for Phoenix, Placebo, Digitalism and Sia.

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.

David Homer and Aaron Hayward, Debaser, Australia / Graphic design music

Designers David Homer and Aaron Hayward established Debaser in January 2004. Having worked as Art Directors for Sony Music, they decided to leave the corporate environment and establish their own business, specialising in creative direction for the music industry.

Since doing so they have created memorable and iconic album artwork for artists as diverse as mainstream favourites Powderfinger, Bernard Fanning Paul Kelly and Tim Finn; to indie bands Kisschasy, Faker and End Of Fashion; through to Ben Folds, The Cat Empire, Paul Mac, Lior, the Living End, Butterfingers, Sarah Blasko, Something For Kate, The Beautiful Girls, Ben Lee, The Grates, the Exploders and the list goes on.

They have won Aria awards for their album covers for Bernard Fanning in 2006 and Powderfinger in 2007.

Kate Bezar, Dumbo feather, Australian-based New Zealander / 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.

Derek Henderson, Australian-based New Zealander / Photographer

Derek Henderson is an internationally accomplished photographer shooting for numerous advertising and editorial clients around the world. Originally from New Zealand, Derek recently moved to Sydney from London to be closer to home. Derek has a close affinity with his subjects, thus capturing their essence and giving his work a certain honesty and rawness. Spontaneity and empathy are also important elements in his work, creating depth and intimacy in his images.

His extensive portfolio includes editorial for magazines including: Oyster, Vogue (Aust), Harpers Bazaar (Aust), I.D (UK), Arena Homme Plus (UK), Observer (UK), Crash (Paris), Fader (US), Casa Da Arbitare (Italy), New York Times (US) and Details (US). Advertising clients include: Levis, Lee Jeans, Tourism NZ, Karen Walker, Coca Cola, Just Jeans, Sussan, Portmans, Alannah Hill, Sydney Morning Herald, Marcs, Myer, Barkers and Swanndri.

Derek has also exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions and has two books "The Terrible Boredom of Paradise" 2005, and "I Go Down to the River to Pray" due for release this October.

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', FunkstÃrung'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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