Semi-Permanent 2013 – context

Katia Guiloff

As resolute event-pursuiters Palaver Media was privileged to be at – and ‘report on’ –  a series of cool gatherings in 2013 including Webstock in Wellington in Feb 2013, & Storyology in Sydney six months later in August 2013.

The philosophy of our quid-pro-bono approach is that *Event Reportage* is about putting an event on the record, respecting its integrity and attaching some news value to it.  It’s not about marketing per se, nor PR for PR’s sake.

Semi-Permanent, held in Wellington for just the second time on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 October 2013, presented another classic case of people magically assembling audiences together to hear from and engage with an eclectic top-notch cast of speakers.

Video capture, casual coverage and Storyfied twitterfeeds notwithstanding, the cornucopia of content we believe every event delivers, deserves some extra after-the-event wrapping; which is what this site is setting out to provide for a limited time. Before memories fade and move on.

In this instance, another motivation that spurred us on is that Semi-Permanent is a festival for celebrating not just the mastery of design as visual art, whatever the technology, medium or industry, but across ALL its remits and realms – including the crafting of text by wordsmiths and copy writers.

Set against other events we especially enjoyed the Semi-Permanent format. Twelve speakers paired into six sessions, three each day and with an hour between each session was excellently well paced. A darkened cinema is bound to have somewhat of a somnolent side-effect, but if so this was 200% offset by having access to each and every speakers’ considered clutch of time, sufficient to say what they meant to say.

Congratulations to Simon Velvin, Andrew Johnstone and all the Semi-Permanent directors associated with @semiglobal for staging it all and making it happen. And likewise to local whirlwinds like Anna Dean for keeping the wheels spinning.

Our main write-up is readable at LOOKING BACK ON SPWGTN , or just head to home, or leave it till later. Feedback gratefully received at or @palavermedia


For some concurrent coverage excised from Semi-Permanent and penned by Palaver Media associate Stephen Olsen see:


Also…. highly recommended

Design Assembly’s debrief article on Semi-Permanent

Helen Baxter (@msbehaviour): 



These are a few snaps not already featured in other SPWGTN reportage. The notebook above belongs to Semi-Permanent audience member Katia Guiloff.


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Farzin Lotfi-Jam ^


MC Te Radar at Semi-Permanent Wellington ^


An interview with Gemma O’Brien ^

spwgtn4Designworks ^

spwgtn5Postcard designs from the scrapbook of Jonathan Kneebone



Sublime photography by Tamara Dean ^


Paul Marcus Fuog ^

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A kite made in Bali with recycled NYC bags (“Field Experiments”) ^


Sons & Co ^


Memo Akten ^