Conferences may conjure images of suits, boozy meetings and even boozier lunches, but Semi-Permanent art and design conference is a whole different kind of field trip altogether. More like a conference with a festival atmosphere, Semi-Permanent involves a lot less suits and rarely disappoints with an annual line-up of the best local and international speakers. And this year’s is enough to make any design enthusiast jump.

The 2012 Melbourne conference starts this weekend bringing with it homegrown design experts including former Broadsheet studio partners Studio Round and creative studio Iloura (whose recent work includes the Hollywood comedy Ted). Other local talent includes the multi-talented Beci Orpin, who with her signature whimsical style has managed to make even tacos look cute (on her husband Raph Rashid’s Taco Truck). Tattoo artist Bugsy – who for years has been illustrating limbs all over Melbourne, out of Fitzroy’s Third Eye Tattoo parlour – will also be in attendance.

On the international speakers front we have the respective editors of The Gentlewoman (Penny Martin) and Fantastic Man (Gert Jonkers) magazines, who out of their home base in London have set the tone and style for thinking men and women the world over. Both Martin and Jonkers (previously of Butt magazine) have cultivated a new brand of men’s and women’s magazines, sans the workout and weight loss tips.

LA filmmaker and photographer Mike Piscitelli will also be flying in for the occasion. Originally from San Fernando Valley Piscitelli dropped out of ninth grade to pursue skateboarding, hardcore music and girls. Since then he’s won Pitchfork Media’s “Video of the Year” for Bonnie “prince” Billy and Matt Sweeny’s “Superwolf” and completed a full length documentary on Ozzie Osbourne.

The full speaker line-up at Semi-Permanent this year presents talents as diverse as a two-day event can aim to be, and as such, covers enough ground to appeal to the seemingly growing number of ‘creatives’, from photographers to illustrators, writers to architects.

Side events in the form of free exhibitions will take place around the city, showcasing the works of this year’s participating speakers.

Semi-Permanent will take place end of this week on September 14 and 15 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Tickets can be purchased on the website.

We’re giving away double passes to Semi-Permanent’s after party on Saturday 15th September at 1000 £ Bend, sponsored by Boxfresh. Get your creative juices flowing with live t-shirt screen-printing, DJ sets, craft beer and more. To enter email with ‘Semi-Permanent Party’ as the subject line.

Competition is now closed