Another year has rolled around and so has another Semi-Permanent. So I showed up at the Aotea Centre and waited for my salty colleagues to arrive. As I lingered about, designers were clambering to their seats, unwittingly making music with their feet on the magical staircase. After that delightful start, I went inside and soaked up all the inspiration. Here's a few of my favourite speakers:
Tea Uglow, from Google Creative Lab, talked about cultivating doubt. She said that you have to doubt in order to create. The thinking goes that doubt gives rise to questions and questions lead to answers. So challenge everything.
Mimi Gilmore, of Mexico and Burger Burger fame, talked about grinding it out. Aside from having true grit, it was reflecting on what made her tick that took her career from good to great. It reminded me of Shakespeare's timeless advice, ‘To thine own self be true’. It was a theme that popped up time and again across the conference; when we trust ourselves and our dreams it’s empowering.
Chris Fjelddahl, from 8, talked about how we analyse things with our brains but experience things with our hearts. Consequently, when designing we need to put emotions first, this then drives thinking, which then drives action. He also said that having high standards can only make you better.
Marie Scileppi, from 72 and Sunny, loves change. She claimed that to be a great creative requires taking great risks, to enter into the dark unknown. She talked about how every great moment in her life was preceded with a leap of faith. By taking chances we can shift the way we perceive the world and how we respond creatively to it. She finished with the insight that ‘frustration comes when we outgrow our reality.’
Steven Selzer, from AirBnB, talked about the fiction of no friction. His idea was that when we remove friction we also remove opportunities for self-reflection, self-growth and self-discovery. The trick is to find a balance between the old and familiar and the new and challenging. He used AirBnBs model to illustrate his point. They make it easy to book, so you can immerse yourself in a foreign world, in the process you discover your best self.
If that's too many words for you, here's a cool picture from the Auckland Art Gallery. They had an exhibit on called 'Called Space to Dream'. They had dreamy paintings of banana plantations alongside an ethereal sculpture that stimulated the senses with aromas of turmeric and cinnamon.