Pecha Kucha rocks

Last night’s Pecha Kucha was just as much fun as the last one – maybe even more so. The line up I have is as per the following, but I think there is one more person missing. Which is a pity, because he was arguably the best…

* Roger Walker // architect / car enthusiast // dancing with the cars
* Peter Wilson // artistic director // my heritage and inspiration
* Fifi Colston // author / illustrator // the birth of velvet, a wearable art piece //
* Spencer Levine // designer //
* Gerbrand Van Melle // media designer / intercept; decipher; participate
* Sam Trubridge // performance designer/director // Drawing: the performing page
* Briar Monro // arts consultant // connecting creativity
* Chris Moller // architect // click-weave space-time sketching
* Tommy Honey // director film school // street crime
* Ravi Kambhoj // photographer // urban fusion
* Tom Beard // urban designer // about a sentence by Baudelaire
* Eric Dorfman // director // the affair of the diamond necklace, an interactive theatre event
* Marcus McShane // designer // sustainable contraption

So how did it go? Well, it started off with a hiss and a roar alright, from the chief ‘fluffer’ Tommy Honey who ripped ten shades of hell out of everyone putting up misplaced pieces of architectural mish-mash around the town. Works by local artists and architects seemed to feature highly on his list of pet peeves and hates – which was lapped up by the crowd, itself almost entirely full of architects. Self-flagellation on a scale never seen since the Pope was a boy. Never before in the history of Wellington have so many iPhones been gathered in one place. Well, since Webstock anyway. The challenge for Honey on his next Pecha Kucha evening, should he ever be invited back (he will, he’s a performing star), will be to see if he can actually say anything positive about the city’s architecture and sculpture at all. But don’t hold your breath.

All the speakers were pretty good really – Chris Moller had a very different tack from Honey, and yet also came over thoughtful, inventive, inquisitively creative and surprisingly, only a little bit over time. He’s spent a bit of time (ok, half a lifetime) in the Netherlands, but it was a real dutchman Gerbrand Van Melle who stole the laughs away from Honey with his fantastic observations on blind walls. Normally blind walls are frowned upon by architects and the Urban Design team at the Council, although Van Melle brought them to life from their previous obscurity. That’s what I like about Pecha-Kucha evenings: they give people a chance to look at things in a whole new way.

Tom Beard’s presentation shows that the best of the people at the Council are passionate, idealised, and erudite. A dozen and a half words from a Baudelaire poem on the joys of walking a city: a more civilised critique of our city I have yet to see. The man clearly lives and breathes buildings: even if he drinks the green fairy to counter the effect. Roger Walker was unstuck by an errant ordering of slideshow, darting back wards and forwards in time more than Marty McFly in a DeLorean – which was, incidentally, about the only car he did not eulogise.

I can’t list all the speakers, but will end by noting that our missing speaker, whose name is not on the tip of my tongue, but spoke so eloquently about his collection of toast racks – yes, he of the Norsk steel and wood, was quite superb. If he was single at the start of the night, I’m sure he won’t be by the end of it, judging by the cooing going on around me. Who knew that the way to a young woman’s heart was through the Vogels?


8 responses to “Pecha Kucha rocks”

  1. I don’t suppose anyone taped the speakers and will be/has posted them somewhere?… hint hint?

  2. mafalda Avatar

    The last speaker was Richard Aindow, from Fishead magazine.

  3. What a great night indeed. I recommend that Mr. Beard’s presentation should be used every year from now a on as the opening lecture for SARC351 (urban design). It will breath a lot of life, emotion, passion and energy into an interesting but rather dry subject. How are we supposed to be passionate about our cities when we’re not shown any passion from those who teach us?

  4. Mafalda – you’re right, that was the guy with the toast rack fetish, right?

    Simon – indeed, a full video / audio thingy was made. Where it will appear, I do not know… maybe Pitsch will tell us? A walk with a turtle perhaps…

    Tomek – I’m sure you will pass that on to your course co-ordinator? And perhaps indeed Mr Beard may take a guest spot…

  5. Already did Guy. I know Tom from my previous life, we used to work together at an IT startup ProjectX ( Tom is happy to do the talk at the school and I hope that it will happen because it really is worth the attention.


  6. Sounded like a good old time, Si-dog, seems to be quite good at posting little videos of the talks…keep an eye out there, or make a request perhaps?

  7. All, thanks for the kind words and wish I had heard the cooing. Not sure I have a Toast Rack ‘fetish’ though, Guy. Or do I? Really enjoyed PK in any event.

    Pecha Kucha Night – a presentation format for creative work originally devised by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein-Dytham Architecture (KDa) ( in Tokyo, Japan – is a unique, rapid-fire format in which each speaker shows 20 images, each for 20 seconds. With each presentation lasting just 6 minutes and 40 seconds, the audience experiences an exhilarating variety of ideas and projects. Pecha Kucha Nights are now happening in 365 cities worldwide making it the largest creative network on this planet!

    Pecha Kucha Night Wellington Vol. 9 is happening on 22 November, Overseas Terminal, Azzura Room, Upstairs, Chaffers Marina, Wellington

    doors open: 6.30pm // start: 7.30pm // end: 10.30pm //

    tickets: $9 // door sales // cash only // come early, limited seats //

    We are delighted to host a fantastic line up of some of Wellington’s creative exponents:

    Leimomi Oakes // textile and fashion historian / seamstress / // the queen’s underwear: how an un/dress caused a revolution (in more ways than one)

    Jack Yan // persuader // fashioning a brand // //

    Chris Bennewith // designer // // creative eco-systems

    Robyn Gallagher // writer // // anti-travel.

    Tony DeGoldi // set designer //

    Fred L’Ami // designer // // about a cycle race

    Anton Carter // musician // marked for life: the art of tatau from oceania //

    Mike Dickison // // what, if anything, is big bird? //

    Mike Brown // co-founder, // running the best conference ever in the history of the world in Wellington //

    Dan Slevin // writer/broadcaster / // why film must die! //

    Lisa Maule, Mohamed Osman // producer/performer // southern corridor project // inter art : inter cultural // eko-theatre //

    Mark Westerby // producer // lego for adults – my fascination with containers //

    David Tay Ninh Wright //musician /designer/ //

    Sarah Hunter // Artist, Director // // daydream

    Rachel Taulelei // food enthusiast // //taking those who catch closer to those who cook //

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