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?