Five things every designer should do at Vivid Sydney

Five things every designer should do at Vivid Sydney

Semi Permanent opens up the first weekend of Vivid Sydney — the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas taking over the city from May 25 - June 16.

That leaves a few weeks for you to explore the best of what the festival has to offer. If you’re a design nerd, a culture buff or simply got nothing better to do, here’s where you can find us. 

See Jonathan Zawada light up the city

Jonathan Zawada has long been a friend of Semi Permanent, having spoken at one of our first events nearly 15 years ago. In that time we've watched him graduate from graphic designer to fully fledged artist and now one of Australia's most revered creative minds. 

So influential is his work in fact, that Zawada was handpicked to design this year’s the centrepiece of Vivid Sydney 2018: the Lighting of the Sails at the Sydney Opera House (Metamathemagical, May 25th-June 26th). Inspired by the Australian environment, expect a hyperreal reimagining of iconic and underground motifs in the striking aesthetic only he can create. You can check it out after his keynote speech at Semi Permanent 2018.

Read our feature interview, Strange Loops, with Jonathan Zawada here

Metamathemagical – Artist impression by Jonathan Zawada
Metamathemagical – Artist impression by Jonathan Zawada

Catch some (other) talks 

If three days of talks and workshops at Semi Permanent isn’t enough, there are literally hundreds of other speakers, panels and ideas on display throughout the entirety of Vivid.

Find out what it will mean to live in an age of human-robot romance, learn how Dare Jennings built two of Australia’s biggest cult brands with zero business experience, hear from the proponents of a radically sustainable approach to future fashion, learn from Australia’s top astrophysicists at observatory point, how big data will improve human health, and how human-centered design can engineer positive social change.

Our pick of the bunch? Dan Goods (3rd June, City Recital Hall) will be outstanding. A graphic designer by education, he now runs The Studio at NASA’s jet propulsion laboratory, transforming complex concepts into meaningful, universal stories. 

Dan Goods
Dan Goods

See the next six months worth of films before anyone else does 

Cinema has always been front and centre of our cultural appetite. So it’s fortunate The Sydney Film Festival (from 6th June, venues around Sydney) screens mainstream and grassroots films of every genre for two whole weeks. 

Our recommends: Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist profiles the rise of Vivienne Westwood from punk icon to fashion Godess to feared warrior. Oscar-winner Sebastián Lelio’s new film is about the love affair between two women (Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams) in an Orthodox Jewish community. Genesis 2.0 traces the quest to resurrect the woolly mammoth. And lastly, this writer caught a screening of Robert Redford’s American Animals at its Sundance Film Festival premiere this month, which will only delight viewers once it shows in Sydney. 

Sydney Film Festival
Sydney Film Festival

Feel the Future of Music

After you check out our Future of Music panel, there’s plenty more to hear throughout the festival. Check out The Alaska Orchestra as they perform Brian Eno’s modern classic Music for Airports (3rd-5th June, Sydney Opera House). On a louder note, St. Vincent (17th June, Carriageworks) will ram as much noise into Carriageworks as possible (after we’re done with it), or you can catch a rare one-off from Hiatus Kaiyote (26th May, City Recital Hall).

Cure your hangover from Semi Permanent with an ambient brunch set the next morning from Melody as Truth's Jonny Nash and Suzanne Kraft  (27th May, Cake Wines). And if you’re looking for something a little more upbeat, Mad Racket ft. Lord of the Isles live (2nd June, Sydney Opera House) follow up 19 years of techno mayhem for a rave underneath the Sydney Opera House. Enough said. 

Ambient 1: Music for Airports. Written by Brian Eno. Performed by Alaska Orchestra
Ambient 1: Music for Airports. Written by Brian Eno. Performed by Alaska Orchestra

Catch Sydney’s Next Generation of Artists and Designers

Design heads, take note. Head over to the Circular Quay to see winning projects of the 2018 Good Design Awards (from 25th May, Overseas Passenger Terminal) plus significant entrants and objects from the last six decades. It’s open until late, and there’s a great view from the bar upstairs. 

The Art Gallery of NSW’s Vivid Art After Hours (from 30th May, Art Gallery of NSW) series is partnering with Vivid to present artists, creators and designers challenging notions of death, shifting perceptions and sexuality. The Archibald Prize will be on display too along with curated tours, plus plenty of live music and drinks.

Good Design Festival
Good Design Festival
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