Saturday, August 23, 2008

SP08 (part 1)

for the first time, the semi-permanent design conference was held over two days this year. and that really is too much to talk about in one post, so i'm going to break it up into two with a third part that talks about my personal response.

the day launched with marion bantjes from canada - one of the best speakers first up. she presented really well and showed us some lovely work. her trademark style is lots of curvy lines.

she was followed by design by pidgeon from australia. this was real solid work by david pidgeon with some nice ideas. the session wasn't hugely rivetting from an entertainment point of view and included a lot of discussion about the australian pavillion at the venice benninal.

after lunch it was joel gethin lewis and i was tremendously excited about hearing him after he spoke on behalf of uva last year. this welsh kid is an absolute genius - and i think i might mean that literally. having told us about the work he did with uva for massive attack and the interactive regent street christmas lights, he went on to tell us about his new projects involving utlising open source software in visual art and media. some other things about lewis: he got a job as a game interactivity tester when he was 14, worked for ibm when he was 17, and has a science degree and a fine arts degree.

then it was collider from australia with designer andrew van der westhuyzen presenting. this was fairly well presented and i particularly enjoyed discussion about the work they did for the mtv australia awards which including a very cool photo shoot using high speed cameras.

after afternoon tea we heard from the wilderness and it was blimin' nice to hear some nz voices. this was co-presented by a guy named kelvin who i once had coffee with to talk about an alternative christian arts magazine idea (which as far as i know never eventuated). so it's interesting to see that he's become one of nz's finest designers.

and the day was rounded out by toxi (aka karsten schmidt). this session was a real mind-bender. schmidt does all his design by source code. so instead of drawing something in illustrator or photoshop he writes computer code that draws the object by itself. he is big on creating randomised elements. he was adament that we should all go out and learn how to program so that we could get on that wave. it was also a very philosophical talk and i'm going to put him in the genius catagory too, and maybe even the mad scientist sub-catagory. while it's unlikely that many of the designers there will go out and start creating the way he does, it was nice to have the framework of our brains stretched.

and there was morning and evening - the first day. i'll review day two in the next post.

some images (in order of appearance):

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