Posted on: 22 Aug 2016
Written by: Ngaire Ackerley
Take 2 days, a large conference centre, loads of designers, speakers from Google, Twitter, Facebook, Air bnb and some big name design studios and what do you get?
Semipermanent 2016 Auckland.
This was the first Semipermanent conference I’d been to in close to 10 years and it had changed in many ways. The speakers’ presentations had a different focus, towards what is the happening in the industry nowadays and they were from a lot of the semipermanent partners. In the past I’d heard from a lot of international big name designers like Stefan Sagmeister, but that isn’t to say Semipermanent 2016 wasn’t as good, it was just a bit different.
I took away a little something from every talk, some relating to design directly, others relating to life in general.
Paul’s talk was about branding and had a focus on key stakeholders, the brand audience and really creating a brand that lives, breathes and changes. His example with the Premier Football League was a great one, where the brand captured stories of what it has done, creating a community feel to it, while maintaining it’s big brand name.
Cecelia’s presentation focused on how diversity and inclusion within companies can make our work so much greater. With a diversity of life experiences comes diversity of thoughts and with a team of diversity interacting together comes incredible results.
Chris’s presentation around the rebranding of Cathay Pacific was really interesting and showed how a cohesive brand throughout the business based on a simple ethos can really make a difference throughout the company. He also showed a lot of his work with Odin, that was just inspiring beauty within architecture to say the least.
Cleo’s presentation was one that pleasantly surprised me. She is a poet and talked about how we can create self love. With my focus on mindfulness in the last year, some of her points of acceptance, care and honesty about ourselves really resonated with me. As she mentioned ‘When it comes to your life you’re not just the artist, but the masterpiece as well’.
Maria’s presentation was a great way to open Day 2 of Semipermanent. She discussed the importance of Passion Projects and making time for the things in life that you really want to make time for. Change really isn’t a bad thing, she has gained so much experience and learnt a lot about herself through her changes over the last few years and I found that really inspiring.
One of the great quotes from her talk was ‘Failure is not learning’ in other words, if something doesn’t work out, consider it information. Learning is a good thing.
Steve’s talk has a strong user focus with human centred design. Focusing on aspects of immersion, empathy and co-creation, design with users values in mind. He talked about designing friction back into what we do and how if we design to create collisions with people we can create stronger, happier communities.
The panel discussion on Sunday showed how important it is to have a clear goal within your work and how having strong user focus and clear brand can make design work much stronger. It was interesting to see campaigns that some brands have done with twitter and other social media. Literally creating campaigns on the fly once they see the reaction by the audience. Embracing reactions and running with them can really create out of the box solutions that are unexpected and great.
I highly recommend looking into the Volvo Super Bowl campaign and the Newcastle Ale Football Advert that they could have made. These were really different and successful reactive campaigns.
Overall Semipermanent was a great chance to get inspired within design again. It was great to chat with fellow designers and have open discussions about hot topics within the industry.« Back to Blog