The annual design extravaganza that is Semi-Permanent will celebrate its tenth birthday as it hits Melbourne this weekend.



This year’s festival has ordered a buffet of creative speakers for Friday and Saturday with a side of multi-media art exhibitions and an untamed after party for dessert.


Thousands will enter the Exhibition Centre’s Banquet Hall to feast their eyes and ears on photographers, artists, filmmakers, illustrators, tattoo artists and other creatives from Australasia, the United States and the United Kingdom.


This weekend’s international speakers include editor-in-chief of London’s The Gentlewoman, UK artist JKB Fletcher, the Editor of Fantastic Man, a Serbian-born New York photographer named Boogie, technological story-tellers Ignition, a Portland designer and Mike Piscitelli, a photographer who has captured Geoff Bridges and other famous American faces.

There will be some wonderful homegrown talent on display as well. Melburnian crew Iloura – the film, television and animation gurus who brought us Ted, Charlotte’s Web and Where The Wild Things Are – and interior designers and architects from Herbert & Mason will be speaking about their different collaborative projects. Herbert & Mason were the brains behind the amazing cardboard box fashion temple interior of Ksubi’s former Armadale store. Other locals taking the stage are tattoo mastermind Bugsy and wonderfully colourful and whimsical designer Beci Orphan.



The Sydneysiders surfing down are design and creative studios Toben and Round. Radical-Media Transmedia, who brought us Under African Skies: Paul Simon’s Graceland Journey and the original pilot episode of Mad Men are also heading south.


Semi-Permanent describes their forum as an opportunity for design to speak “directly to the individual. It is a forum that welcomes all people with a mind open to creative ideas and the wide world of design.”


The companies and individuals featured are multi award winning, highly praised and difficult to describe in all their glory and glitter. To have the opportunity to hear them speak and inspire is the best insight into their current and future success.


If you can’t make the conference, a mixture of fun, free and interactive side events will be held this week and next as an extension to the festivities.


Well known illustrative magazine Curvy is showcasing its feature artists at Frankie & Swiss in South Yarra. There will be “’just another group show” at £1000 Bend this Thursday which will showcase unique works by numerous artists who were asked to create a single work that highlights their style (Masterchef, eat your heart out). Bed Winnel’s photo-realistic pencil drawings of ethereal women will be put up around Just Another Project Space.


The after party will kick off at £1000 Bend. These big boys are double digits now so pop on a party hat and enjoy HIT+RUN’s live screen-printing t-shirt giveaways as you boogie on down.



Over the past ten years, Semi-Permanent has played host to twenty-nine events in nine different cities, with more than 200 speakers and 50,000 listeners.


Semi-Permanent will be on at the Banquet Hall, Level 2 of Melbourne’s Convention & Exhibition Centre on the 14th and 15th of September. They are also holding similar, slightly varied events across major Australian cities, Wellington and via video in New York and London.



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About The Author

Hannah Bambra

Hannah is a young RMIT Journalism student who writes lifestyle pieces for various publications. She holds a great interest in the architecture, food, coffee, art, fashion, film, flowers and all else Melbourne has to offer. She loves the marriage between image and text that is blossoming through online media.

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