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I attended a Pecha-Kucha event last night.

Pronounced “pay-chak-cha”, this phrase is Japanese for “the sound of conversation” or “chit-chat” as some have said. It refers to a specific event-method for presenting art-design projects and ideas. Each artist is allowed to present 20 slides/images for only 20 seconds each, amounting to 6 minutes and 40 seconds of presentation per participant. This corrals the often tangential, wheel-spoke thinking of designers and “keeps the interest level up, and gives more people the chance to show“.

Started about seven years ago, Pecha-Kucha nights are a world-wide phenomena. I believe they now take place in about 200 cities globally (a number I heard last night, which is updated from the 100 cities their website boasts).

The event I went to last night was called, “Femmes Fatales” and was put on by the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design. There were 17 designers who presented – originally 18, but one fell ill. I arrived late, which was apparently okay since things didn’t get started until about 7:45 p.m., 45 minutes after the scheduled start. This was nice, since there was beer and wine (for a donation) and many people seemed to be chatty and glad to socialize after coming from their places of work.

I entered the long, narrow room of the new LA Forum Gallery, formerly managed by Woodbury University’s Architecture program. The space was filled with a bunch of Hollywood types (always wanted to say that) with thick-rimmed glasses, colorful A-line dresses, and either no make-up or too much. Everyone had a bottle of beer or a plastic half-cup of red wine. I scanned the dimly lit room to find some light coming from a small doorway at the very end of the hall. Sure enough, I found the man with the cooler and suggested donation cup. Read the rest of this entry »

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