I first learned about this the other day when my coworkers were talking about it at lunch. It was created by a couple people from Klein-Dytham Architecture in Tokyo. The word itself is the sound of chatter in Japanese.
The idea is simple. It begins at 20:20. You have 20 slides. You have 20 seconds each. You must give your presentation on whatever topic you want that’s related to the night’s theme. That’s it. It’s basically a way to get through a lot of presentations in a very rapid manner.
Not sure about other Pecha Kucha’s but this particular one was held inside a bar. So not my type of place. Mainly ’cause I don’t drink. Oh sure, one day I’ll poison myself with yeast piss, but tonight wasn’t the night.
Anyway, there were only five presentations tonight. The theme was “Then” because last month’s theme was “If”.
The first presentation was by Lorenzo Hinojosa, and his presentation was basically about photographing people, and how the act of photography puts you outside the event, and how it also pulls the people you’re photographing outside the event too when they notice they’re being photographed.
The second was by Andy Proehl, whose presentation was on different maps. His stuff is on flickr under the tag amproehlmaps, Since a lot of my visitors seem to be interseted in the China/Tibet issue, you may want to see his piece, A Political Map of China & Tibet. He also called it China Over Tibet.
The third presentation was by Alberto Villarreal, about his now-dead website, algorritmo.com. I think he said it was “algorithms” and “rhythm” in Spanish. There was a slide about it being Math+English, but basically there were a bunch of two word themes, like Time & Space, Grid/Organisms, Time * Digital, and people submitted art pieces representing the theme. You can still see bits of the site on the Internet Archive and the search results from Google Images. He also has another website over at zanicdesign.com
There was a water break here and I met up with my coworkers where we discussed geeky topics such as how to run a dating site (use a Stable Marriage algorithm) and chess AI and chess grandmasters. You know, engineer talk. :P
After that, it was presentation four, by Franxisco Poncé Jr, who had a narrative to go with drawings he made to cope with his grandfather’s death in 1990.
Finally, the last presentation was by Paul Jamtgaard, who talked about mass transit systems, from how bad monorails are to cars on rails systems. His solution was what he called the “Beehive” which is based on the ability for planes to refuel each other in flight at 400mph. The idea is there would be “Hive” vehicles on the freeways, and cars would be “Bees”. A car/driver could figure out when the next Hive was going towards whatever direction they want, then time themselves to get on the freeway at the approximate time, then basically dock to the Hive using the same guidance systems planes use for fueling. Since cars should be using electricities, you could either pay for your ride by allowing the Hive to draw “honey” (electricty) from your car that was charged from home, or you could pay with money.
All in all, it was a fun experience. A couple of my coworkers will probably present next time too.
You can learn more about it at http://www.pecha-kucha.org/ or its wikipedia entry.