Semi-Permanent has come a long way since a humble Sydney-side beginning in 2002. The premier design conference has seen some creative heavyweights grace it’s stage including the dudes from Saturdays NYC, Chuck “No Pattern” Anderson, Frankie creator Louise Bannister and many more monarchs of cool. This year is no different, with a new pocket of speakers just added to the line up via WxD – things are looking good for lovers of design. The edgingly expensive seminar is a nirvana for those seeking a little inspiration, insight or vision regarding what’s humming in the creative world, often full to the brim with fresh-faced cool kids that strive daily to be even cooler.
I subscribe to an appreciation of sh#t that looks nice and works well (form and function, yeah?) and have decided to throw together a couple of speakers I would give my left shoe to see*.
David Chang. Whilst the contemporary cooking heavyweight is no stranger to Australian shores, his influence in the culinary world is still making waves. From pork bun to degustation, the dining styles of Sydney-siders are still rubbing their bellies to the ‘cook what you want as long as it tastes good’ style that bubbled out of Chang’s Momofuku kitchen. What does food have to do with design? Everything, der. When it comes to plating up some grub, the multitude of engaged senses means a whole lot more attention to detail. You have smell, appearance and taste all front running for your attention – so you better believe someone designed that taco, Chachi.
Bjarke Ingels. The pen behind the Copenhagen Harbour Baths venue Islands Brygge, an incredible public swimming space that is so Scando-cool it couldn’t be anywhere else in the world. Alongside those sweet pools, he has earned a reputation for taking a consciously sustainable approach to his architectural creations which has seen him recognised as a leading innovator in his field. A bunch of awards and visiting professor gigs at Havard, Rice and Yale Architecture Schools plus BIG’s W57 development in New York and futuristic Zira Island masterplan mean he is pretty much the boss of architecture right now.
Ben Quilty. One of Australia’s biggest ‘at-the-mo’ artist, his heavy handed style has been in and out of news and conversation for some years now, with my introduction to him not pedalling much further. I plan on taking his time at Semi-Permanent to foster a decision on my own personal preference towards his art (not that my opinion matters). His military commissioning saw some incredible works produced and it will be interesting to see how his talk comes to fruition, with past artist presentations at SP sometimes a little ambiguous and under prepared. Either way, it is still interesting to gain a little perspective on their process and why they think people like their stuff.
*Any enquiries about my left shoe are best directed to firstname.lastname@example.org