Pecha Kucha – Japanese for the sound of conversation – is fast establishing itself as London’s place to catch-up on whats going on in the design world. It’s a grown-up version of show-and-tell that includes architects, designers, branding experts, and DJs.

The method, developed by Klein Dytham Architects in Tokyo puts twelve speakers in a bear-pit theatre with only 20 slides for 20 seconds each for a six minute and 20 second total. There is no stopping or retreating from a ruthlessly advancing PowerPoint show. The stereotypical, rambling designer who says a lot without saying anything has no place here.

london pecha kucha

Predictably, it was a bit hit-and-miss. One architect simply talked about his social network instead his catalogue of design. Two students spent their time simply giggling at their furniture design arranged as modesty boxes on top of pictures from top-shelf magazines (one of the organisers, Marcus Fairs, claimed meekly that he did not intentionally place them after a DJ’s serious conversation about the dangers of hip-hop and the objectification of women). The tone of the night is irreverent, fun, hilarious. Educational for the punter who paid their £12 ($20)?

For Inhabitat readers with eyes out for sustainable design:

Asif Khan, architect and lecturer at the Architectural Association, presented a new way of getting more people to walk instead of drive in Recife, Brazil: build a massive lycra cover. In between one of the favellas and the jobs in the city centre, the yellow cover was attaches to the sides of the buildings with simple ropes and wires and built by the local community. If this inexpensive idea gets traction in tropical climes, the shading could make walking and cycling as attractive as cities in more temperate zones.

Also, Youmeheshe architects presented their small but vertical ‘organic house’ first developed for a UK £60,000 pre-fab house competition. More on that one to come…

+ Pecha Kucha UK