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Semi-Permanent Design Conference

This design conference is one of our favourites, providing a new head-space & inspiration for designing non-personal interpretive media.

What is design?

(with a little help from Wikipedia)

One definition for design is”a roadmap or a strategic approach for someone to achieve a unique expectation.” The design is composed of “primitive elements” set in a specified plan or product. With such a broad definition, there is no universal language for designers of all disciplines. This allows for many differing philosophies and approaches toward the subject.

Our business is interpretive design which involves interpreting cultural and environmental resources using the primitive elements. These elements may be found in the themes inherent in the site and through the interpretive design process (which  involves considerable research , thought, modelling, adjustment and re-design) these themes are drawn out and presented in a way that connects with the visitor. This part of our work follows the Rational Model and involves sequencing of activities from design brief to presenting design solutions. Another aspect of our design process is agile and lacks method. The designers use creativity and emotion to generate design concepts. The process is improvised and research and knowledge are added to the process through the judgement and common sense of the designers. The process is less predictable and controlled and relies heavily on the experience of the designer.

Why we like Semi-permanent

Semi-permanent gives us the opportunity to see how people take their creative skills and use them as the basis for a successful business and fulfilling lifestyle. We are motivated by creative people who are successful because they are not afraid to be true to themselves.

This year the Semi-permanent conference was held at Carriageworks in Redfern. Boasting 1,000 attendees per day this conference is really a gym for creativity. It was Dee’s third time and she always buzzes for days after. Accommodation through airbnb was a 3 minute walk away and the King St restaurants were 5 minutes up the road. Top presenters for me included Ian Mutch from King Brown magazine, the artist Jeremy Fish, photojournalist Ben Lowy from New York and Alt VFX head guy, Colin Renshaw.

Dee really enjoyed Andrew Denton who spoke about the 7 keys for a successful creative business:

Be Busy (self evident)

Be Hungry (challenge yourself to excel)

Be Silent (take time off, time out and recharge)

Be Bold (take chances)

Be Afraid (question everything)

Be Prepared to Fail (self evident)

Perservere (self evident)

King Brown

Kingbrown is West Australian slang for a longneck beer – a 750 ml wrapped in a brown bag.

“Sitting somewhere between a book, a magazine and an art zine, Kingbrown is a super limited edition periodical. Each issue is handcrafted, delivered inside a silk screened brown bag which is designed and curated by some of the world’s leading innovators of photography, illustration and urban and skateboard art and design.

Inside Kingbrown you will find profiles and interviews that take you on a twisted journey inside the studios and minds of some of our very talented friends, with the aim of keeping you inspired and connected to the subcultures we love most. Printed with quality in mind, each page is a collectable item, individually sealed and packaged.”

Ben Lowy

“He received a BFA from Washington University in St. Louis in 2002 and began his career covering the Iraq War in 2003. Since then he has covered major stories worldwide. In 2004 Lowy attended the World Press Joop Swart Masterclass, he was named in Photo District News 30 and his images of Iraq were chosen by PDN as some of the most iconic of the 21st century. Lowy has received awards from World Press Photo, POYi, PDN, Communication Arts, American Photography, and the Society for Publication Design. Lowy has been a finalist for the Oskar Barnak Award, a finalist in Critical Mass, included in Magenta Flash Forward 2007, as well as the OSI Moving Walls 16 exhibit. His work from Iraq, Darfur, and Afghanistan have been collected into several gallery and museum shows, and shown at the Tate Modern, SF MOMA, Houston Center for Photography, Invalides, and Arles. His work from Darfur appeared in the SAVE DARFUR media campaign.

In 2011 Lowy’s Iraq | Perspectives work was selected by William Eggleston to win the Duke University Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography. The book is currently available and in stores now.

In 2012, Lowy was awarded the Magnum Foundation Emergency fund to continue his work in Libya. In the same year, he received the International Center of Photography (ICP) Infinity Award for Photojournalism.”

Jeremy Fish

“Fish’s artwork is mainly about storytelling and communication and is told through a library of characters and symbols. The emphasis is on finding a balance with the imagery somewhere between all things cute and creepy. Jeremy is based in North Beach aka little Italy, and has lived in San Francisco for the last 20 years.

Jeremy talked about his humble beginnings in up-state New York, the “pink rabbit theme” of his early works and friendships and his incredible journey to skateboard art and fine art. Currently he is trying to find the balance between exhibiting his work across the US and internationally, in galleries and museums. Jeremy also maintains a presence designing skateboards, t-shirts, vinyl toys, album covers, periodical illustrations, murals and sneakers.

Colin Renshaw – Alt.vFX

Alt.vfx is a state-of-the-art film and television post-production and visual effects company based in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.

Alt VFX’s Story

Colin Renshaw is a founding partner, and Visual Effects Supervisor, of ALT.vfx.

“After a decade working for the “man” as a Flame Artist and VFX Supervisor and at various companies in Australia and abroad, Colin finally decided to make good on his claim that “I could run a better company.”

“In 2011 Colin and his business partner, Executive Producer Takeshi Takada, opened the doors to a brand new vfx studio in Brisbane. A move that had many people scratching their heads. The post industry was going through tough times, and Brisbane could never be argued as the centre of it all.

Yet, in three short years, the company has proven their detractors wrong. Consistently collaborating with the best talent in the industry, Alt.vfx has already won top honours at countless award festivals, showcasing a variety of disciplines. They have since opened a second studio in Sydney with plans for more in the future.

Colin and the team at ALT continue to create work that defies their size, and reinforces their core belief that they can do anything, awesomely.”

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