Pecha Kucha Night at the Southbank Centre

Last evening, I went to Pecha Kucha Night at the Southbank Centre. I missed the earlier one which was some time in April and when I got a ticket for yesterday’s event, I was relieved that I’d finally get to see what it was all about. Plus, it was also part of my ongoing self-education as a creative generalist (more on that in another post).

For the uninitiated, Pecha Kucha (Japanese for ‘the sound of conversation’), was conceived in 2003 by Klein-Dytham Architecture as a forum for young designers to meet, network, and showcase their work in public – but with one caveat: they would each be able to show only 20 slides related to their work, with 20 seconds to dwell on per slide (yes, it is timed – each presentation seamlessly transits to the next as well).

Interesting buildings have always fascinated me, and Pecha Kucha Night was an opportunity for me to see the latest architectural innovations around. There were 11 presentations in total (6 minutes 40 seconds per presentation – doesn’t that sound accurate!), and most of the work showcased was intriguing. My favourites, however, were:

1. Sin Den, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo by Klein Dytham Architecture. This was built as a home for a young couple with a baby who also run a hair salon. Built in one of the more creative areas of Japan, it attracts custoners who have their own style and seek a perfect hideaway.

2. Leaf Chapel, Kobuchizawa, Yamanashi, Japan by Klein Dytham Architecture. This popular wedding chapel which is the venue for at least 10 weddings a day, is set in a resort. You’ll need to see 360-degree images to understand the beauty of it, so please go to the site to see more.

3. The Lift, for the London International Festival of Theatre, London by AOC. This is a demountable meeting and performance space that was inspired by Ottoman tents and hats.

4. Potter’s Field Park Kiosks, London by DSDHA. This was inspired by the idea of ‘burning your own building’.

5. Examples of architecture gone wrong, presented by Sam Jacob from FAT (Fashion Architecture Taste). This was a hilarious presentation with examples mostly from Russia. I was able to find the images he showed us, here. Go take a look, you won’t regret it!

6. Heterotopia by David Kohn Architects. This is a zero-carbon art garden at the Thames Gateway and was shortlisted for the Arts Space of the Future Competition. I especially like the sculpture of the puppy by Jeff Koons, but that’s just me.

And Adrien Pelletier and Conrad Ventur from Useless Magazine also spoke about what the magazine is about. It’s a print-only artist-run art/culture publication, that sounds very interesting.

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