20 slides x 20 seconds. Tokyo’s Pecha Kucha Night
“Give an architect a mike and they’ll talk for hours,” explains Astrid Klein at Tokyo’s Pecha Kucha Night in the standing-room only space at Superdeluxe.Â Pecha-Kucha Night was started by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham as a place for architects, designers, and other creatives to publicly show their work.Â But rather than placing audiences at the mercy of long-winded orators, each presenter is confined to exactly 6 minutes and 40 seconds in which they present exactly 20 slides, which advance at a relentless 20 seconds each.Â When the last slide runs out, the words “Thank-you” pop up on the screen and the audience claps in appreciation.Â While Pecha Kucha has been around since 2003, it has seen a remarkable worldwide expansion, with Pecha Kucha nights now being held in over 168 cities worldwide and new cities joining every month.
The unique format keeps the night energetic and engaging – talks are vibrant and concise, with many different presenters taking the stage over the course of the evening.Â In the background, the constant din of networking, drinking and discussion keeps the atmosphere casual and low-key.Â This friendly setting is another key to Pecha-Kucha’s growing success as the presentation floor is accessible to anyone with an interesting story to tell.Â As a result the presentations are always fresh and diverse.Â In the several nights I’ve attended, I’ve seen everything from portfolio presentations, architecture projects, and event promotions to social commentaries, performance art, and travel diaries.
Last month’s event was no less varied and included some fascinating talks.Â Photographer Keitaro Yonehara presented some stunning unphotoshopped images, and Bruno Quinquet introduced his “Salaryman Project”, a collection of photos of anonymous office workers that examines the clash between public photography and portrait rights.Â Junpei Kiz presented his design of a Japanese “cram school”, and we were treated to a surreal live performance by Masahiro Kohama, a.k.a. BOKUDES. Â Teacher Daniel Cowan spoke on similarities between the design process and how children should be learning, and David Pollard and Tomonari Waku explained the “Happy Soil Project ” which uses branches to recreate sketches of houses made by children.
Written by Chris Kirby