Semi Permanent


14 years / 48 events / 12 cities / 6 countries / 800+ speakers and artists / 400,000+ attendees

Semi Permanent is a global creative and design thinking platform. Over 14 years, we have established a community of over 400,000 people and a network of over 800 speakers and artists, across our operation around the globe.

From live event experiences to content across print and digital platforms, our goal is to not only inspire the community but also enable them. It is our hope that through Semi Permanent, the creative community are able to catch a glimpse into what is happening in design, on a global scale while also providing them with the tools to improve their own craft and the opportunity to forge new relationships and collaborations.

The name Semi Permanent was derived from a book published by the founders in 2002 - Permanent: Design is Kinky. Made sense to take what was deemed permanent in print, and move into something permanent only for a few days as a live event, into Semi Permanent.

Why we run and work at Semi Permanent

We run Semi Permanent because we love design, and we love bringing people together to share experiences that not only inspire us but also opens doors to new possibilities for collaboration .

To us, design is so much more than traditional graphics, it’s a universal principal that can applied to every facet of life. It has an intimate relationship with communications, transportation, technology, business and more. It has the capability to affect change across social and environmental issues. We truly believe design has the power to make our world a better place.

Semi Permanent staff

Murray Bell
Director / Founder

Marty Wirth

Simon Velvin
New Zealand Director

Ellie Bayliss
Operations Manager / Producer

Phil Knoxy and Harry Attarha

Thiago Nogueira
Community Manager / Ticketing

Cassandra Kevin, Alyssa Sheldrake and Milly Horsley
Partnerships / Sponsorship (Australia)

Present Company
Website / Social / Marketing

Andrew Kirk
PR and Communications

Sonia Borg
Event Producer


Mike Tosetto
Motion Graphics
Never Sit Still

1976 Studios

Contributing journalists, designers and thinkers
Elizabeth Colman, Johnathan Davies, Zoe Wolff, Wilfred Brandt, Lisa Butterworth, Neha Kale, Alex Vitlin, Andrew Quilty, Matt Bugden, Caspar Yuill, Maddi Axam, Ignatius Jones, Russell Privett, Ellie Bayliss, Jay Morgan, Cat Tsang, Jamika Bell and Jake Herbert.

Contact details - Enquiries relating to new partnership and sponsorship opportunities / internships / general enquiries and feedback, which we love. - Ticketing, groups bookings and discounts - For editorial and content contributions, which we warmly welcome


Head Office - Sydney, Australia
Semi Permanent
Ground Floor
15 Woodburn Street
Redfern, NSW, 2016

Auckland, New Zealand Office
Semi Permanent
66 Sackville Street
Grey Lynn, 1021
New Zealand

Origin Story

Semi Permanent was founded in 2003 by Murray Bell and Andrew Johnstone in Sydney, Australia, but it was conceived in Barcelona with a cheque from Diesel and a leap of faith.

In 2002 before there were blogs (and almost before the internet really) Murray Bell and former Semi Permanent Director Andrew Johnstone ran the site Design Is Kinky.The sites popularity led to an invitation to present at a festival in Barcelona, Spain.

On arrival, speakers we're confronted with a language barrier and a gift pack from Diesel, covered in what was their latest campaign Donald Diesel, and it's merry red clown. Of course that striped denim was put on immediately, and sent Murray on a journey to thank the gifters, and after being pointed in the direction of Bob Shevlin (Renzo Rosso's right-hand-man) and Chris Mair, a conversation surfaced about how all the designers at Diesel used Design is Kinky and if there were any ideas for a collaboration, they'd love to hear it.

A night above La Rambla and pages of notes produced the idea of a live event experience in Sydney.

So, with a Diesel cheque (literally a cheque) and a leap of faith, the Sydney Convention Centre was booked, Murray flew home to his 21st birthday, and it began.

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