The 20x20 showreel
(Above and right) Earlier international editions of Pecha Kucha Nights
Imagine a rapid fire of presentations. Before the monotony of never-ending slides even begins to gnaw at your attention, it's done. Add to it the fact that it is an uncluttered format, where you are looking at only one image per slide. Pecha Kucha (Japanese for the sound of chit-chat) was devised by Tokyo-based architects Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham in February 2003 as a platform for young designers to showcase their work, and meet and discuss ideas with others in the field.
What Klein and Dytham were clear about was the crisp format of the presentations — a 20x20 style where the presenter shows 20 images, each for 20 seconds, with the images advancing automatically as one talks along. The reason? "Architects talk too much! Give a microphone and some images to an architect — or most creative people for that matter — and they'll go on forever! Give PowerPoint to anyone else and they have the same problem," the duo argues on their website.
Over the years, Pecha Kucha Nights gained popularity, and spread to over 900 cities across the world. Architecture theorist and educator Kaiwan Mehta brought the event to Mumbai in December 2008. "I came across Pecha Kucha Nights when I participated in one as a research fellow in Budapest," shares Mehta. After a hiatus, this Thursday marks its return to the city. Presented in collaboration with the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) at the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum, the theme for the night is Heritage: Urban, Natural, and Cultural.
"The event is open to all, where we invite participation from professions transcending design — artists, journalists, writers, thinkers, for instance. But we often see that architects, designers, filmmakers and photographers take to the event because of its visual nature," shares Mehta. "Though the 20x20 format is sacrosanct, the atmosphere is one of structured randomness because people of diverse interests come together on one platform. So, an architect doesn't necessarily interact with
another architect only," he adds.
The curatorial process is a challenging one. "This is one event where everybody loves to be the audience," Mehta smiles. For the presentations, however, due diligence has to be exercised for quality control and to ensure public sensibilities are respected. Organisers are also discouraged from taking sponsorships for the event. "We tie up with venues interested in the format. They provide the space and infrastructure and we provide the content," says Mehta.
ON: February 23, 6.20 pm to 8 pm
AT: Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum, Byculla.
REGISTER: email@example.com (last day today to register for presentations)