Pecha Kucha

Originally uploaded by fred pipes
No, Pecha Kucha isn't an Inca settlement in the Andes, it's a bimonthly networking event, and it's come to Brighton. Pronounced 'pe-chak-cha' it means chit-chat in Japanese, and that's where it originated, as a means of giving young designers and architects a night to meet and show their work. The pace and timing is dictated by a Powerpoint presentation in which 20 images are shown for 20 seconds each, totalling 6 minutes, 40 seconds. The first Brighton one - in April - I missed, but apparently people were queuing round the block, so I was a bit worried I might not get in (you can't buy tickets in advance). From looking at the programme, I was also half expecting most of it to be a load of pretentious bollocks (and a couple of the 11 presentations did fit that bill - and another couple were basically showing their holiday slides!), but there was quite a bit of illustrator content - shame it clashed with the monthly BiG meeting.

BiG's very own Nirm Dhiman was showing his amazing visual diaries, and was joined by Bec Garland, a northern lass hailing from my neck of the woods talking about her exhibitions of mainly bird and animal drawings around Manchester, and Chao Min Tzu - currently on the MA course at the Uni - did something about the symmetry of Taiwanese wedding dresses (I think!). It was at the Red Roaster cafe and beer options were severely restricted (just Budvar), and - amazingly - though it was packed out, I hardly knew a soul in the audience! As a franchise, the format is a double-edged sword - if a presentation is interesting, you want to see more; but if it's awful, it's soon over. And there is no opportunity for questions (except informally if you manage to collar the speaker in the interval/fag break). The Catalyst Club it is not, but it's certainly very popular and seems to have tapped into some missing need amongst 'creatives'. Keep an eye on this website for future events.

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