Semi Permanent 2023

A collection of the world’s best thinkers and doers are uniting at Carriageworks for this annual festival of design and ideas.
Sarah Ward and Ben Hansen
Published on May 25, 2023


If it involves design and creativity — whether as graphics and illustration, via filmmaking and animation, in photography and visual data, through writing and publishing, in products and advertising, or as part of spatial and motion design — odds are that you'll find it at Semi Permanent. The southern hemisphere's biggest and longest-running festival dedicated to all of the above brings together the brightest minds it can find to unpack its chosen topics. And, in 2023, it'll do just that in Sydney again as part of Vivid Sydney's lineup.

Taking place at Carriageworks from Wednesday, May 31–Friday, June 2, Semi Permanent 2023 features a stacked lineup of speakers, including Irish writer, academic and disability activist Sinéad Burke, who'll explore accessibility — and filmmaker and architect Liam Young, who focuses on the blurring boundaries between film, fiction, design, and storytelling, especially when it comes to musing on what cities will look like in the future.

Journalist, writer, artist and producer Mona Chalabi will dive into how data helps us understand the world, while Iranian American designer FISK founder Bijan Berahim is known for highlighting culture, community and commerce via art and design.

Also on the bill: Vogue India's Head of Editorial Content Megha Kapoor, Indigital founder Mikaela Jade, Indigenous artist and poet Jazz Money, and artist, illustrator and animator Chris Yee. Film and TV designer and director Filipe Carvalho, with the Australian Centre for Moving Image's Seb Chan, Gold Coast artist and screenwriter Samuel Leighton-Dore, motion graphics artist Mikaela Stafford and photographer and performer Wani Toaishara helping fill out the local crew alongside artist and illustrator Jordy van den Nieuwendijk, and designer and artist Evi. O.

As always, Semi Permanent will span keynote talks, panels, Q&As and workshops, as well as exhibitions and installations. This year, expect those sessions to touch upon futurism, feminism, First Nations culture and accessibility alongside  sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion, all while examining Web3's borderless promises, how remote work helps employees claim back their time, and the dismantling of industrial hierarchies and traditions.

Single-day tickets are available for $329, or $229 with a student ID, while full-festival tickets are $599, or $399 for students.


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