It’s nearly impossible to describe the feeling of pure awe and excitement that accompanied my first day at SP 2018. I never imagined I would be able to say that I spent the majority of my day hearing from one of the world’s greatest graphic designer’s, the incredible Paula Scher. Kicking off the day, and hosted by the brilliant Gemma O’Brien, Paula spoke about her decades of industry experience in an inspiring talk that I never wanted to end. Thankfully, I had the privilege to sit in on a workshop with her later in the day and was able to soak up even more of her valuable advice – I’ve never identified more with a sponge!
The rest of the day didn’t disappoint either. I had the opportunity to hear from creatives like Godfrey Daddich and National Geographic’s Emmett Smith, who presented an amazing talk which included a walk through of 139 years of the magazine’s history – including a flip through of every single cover! The Launch Party that followed was a truly perfect end to the day as I had the opportunity to mingle with some amazing creatives from all around Australia – I even met some truly talented people who I can now proudly call friends. Overall, I’d say a pretty bloody successful first day! I can’t thank TDK enough – dead set legends!
As for the second day of the Semi-Permanent 2018, things just kept on getting better. In each and every turn and talk, there were always new things to learn, new friends, to make. We got to hear from the most amazing creatives and professionals including AKQA, Tinker Hatfield, David Campbell and more. In the morning session, we were introduced to Ajaz Ahmed, CEO and Founder of AKQA, discussing lessons and stories from running the creative innovation agency with 2,000+ people across 23 studios in 15 countries. He also shared personal enduring stories of serendipity and learning. Then there was the second part of Godfrey Dadich discussion series featuring the NIKE shoe designing legend, Tinker Hatfield. It was an exchange to remember as we dived down into the creation of Netflix “Abstract” and a brief history of the concept & innovation of Nike’s iconic shoes. For someone who has always been fascinated by the Museum of Old and New Art, in Hobart Tasmania, I was excited to hear from David, “a strong believer in the idea that it is important to confuse and irritate the audience”, sharing his unique approach to design as a Senior Designer at MONA.
Aside from hearing from the legends, my take away from this year semi-permanent, which also happen to be my first ever design conference is an awesome network of people from the industry, and of course, meeting the incredible TDK team. It was truly a life-changing experience I’m very grateful to be a part of.
The third day at Semi Permanent continued the discussion of creative tension with a great line up of inspiring creatives including APCAs Rapha Vasconcellos, whose creative work is constantly inspired by the goal to be different and do it differently, Motherbird's hilarious gif presentation on their journey to being one of Australia's biggest design agencies and the Future State of Food panel that made you think about your next meal and disappearing kitchens!
The main issue every creative thinks about is the future of work and this insightful discuss was led by Simon Barrie from Western Sydney University. It was a relief to hear that collaboration will always be here! Although our tools will change, it will increase creativity to a broader market and makes you question whether the tools will become our next creative collaborators. Dan Ilic, Michael Canning and Tara Mckenty also noted that the notion of a creative will change, as it no longer belongs just to the arts, but creativity is to be expected in every line of work.
A great way to end the 3 day event was an interview with the honestly funny Jonathan Zawanda and encouragement to see his latest work on the opera house sails for the Vivid light show.