Went to Pecha Kucha at The Toff last night… must admit it was my first Pecha Kucha night although I have been meaning to go forever. Last time it was on my Mum went and apparently squealed very loudly when the lovely Jeremy of Jacky Winter mentioned The Design Files! (Thanks Jeremy, Thanks Mum!).

Anyway, must say it was a bit of a mixed bag. But I guess that’s the idea! If you’re not familiar, Pecha Kucha started in Japan as a place for creative people to meet, network and show their work in public. It consists of 8 people showing 20 images, and talking for only 20 seconds on each. The timing is quite strict whcih is great, as it minimises Oscar-speech style babbling!

Thanks in part to it’s inclusion in the State of Design line-up, last night’s event was dotted with international guests as well as local talent. They spoke to a sell-out crowd – I feel bad for anyone who came along to buy tickets at the door! :(

Highlights below.

Nate Archer‘s slides

Nate Archer refreshingly decided to avoid the topic of design altogether… amazing to see such lack of self-promotion! Good on him! Instead Nate introduced us to some of his favourite spots in his home town of Toronto, Canada. Recommendations included Type Books, Ministry of the Interior, Toronto’s Reference Library and Kensington Market.

Nate Archer‘s slides

David Pidgeon‘s 3D typography

Respected local graphic designer David Pidgeon spoke about his fascination with 3D typography experiments.

Artwork by Britt Salt

Melbourne artist Britt Salt showed some of her beautiful transparent sculptures, delicately formed from aluminim and steel mesh. Britt has an exhibition on currently at Helen Gory Gallery as part of State of Design.

Artwork by Britt Salt

Belgian industrial designer Dirk Wynants entertained the crowd with his lilting accent, sense of humour and fabulous adjectives (‘sexy outstanding stuff’!!). His company Extremis produces quirky furniture and lighting as ‘tools for togetherness’ – ie flexible pieces which encourage social interaction and community.

Dirk Wynants shows off some of Extremis’ ‘tools for togetherness’ – including the BeHive outdoor canopy room (bottom)

Some more of Extremis’ quirky offerings – the DoNuts cute outdoor table/rubber ring seating unit and the Serpentine outdoor shower. ‘A solution to Australia’s water shortage’ according to Dirk – ‘Just take a shower in a new place on the lawn every day!’ Love that optimism!

Dik Jarman – reminded me of Myth-Busters!

Pecha’s last speaker, Dik Jarman, really got the audience chuckling! He’s a Melbourne-based designer and land-speed world record holder! With friends, Dik spent over a year building a car from found materials which went on to win a world-record for reaching speeds of 250km an hour (or something like that?). He called their creation the ‘Spirit of Sunshine’ – because they built it in Sunshine! Next year he’s got his eye on 350km/pr hr. Good luck Dik!

What I liked about Dik’s talk was that he readily admitted to knowing nothing about building a car like this before he started this ambitious project. He said along the way he learnt that if you apply yourself, think about it, ask a lot of intelligent questions, you can do it! The Dick Smith school of commerce as he calls it! Love that.

Blurry Dik Jarman