Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham, who run the Tokyo firm Klein Dytham architecture and dreamed up Pecha Kucha Night in 2003, are organizing a special Pecha Kucha event for April 16 to show their support for Japan in the wake of the recent earthquake/tsunami/nuclear power plant disasters. Instead of happening in one place at one time, it will involve people in 100 cities around the world, including Tokyo where it will go on for 24 hours and be hosted by the Japanese Institute of Architects.
In case you've been hiding under a rock the past eight years, a Pecka Kucha Night offers architects, designers, artists, critics, trouble-makers, and practically anyone else the chance to show 20 images for 20 seconds each, while the audience drinks beer (preferably the warm English stuff) and has a good time. The fast pace focuses the mind and keeps windbags in check. The British-born Dytham devised the events at first to amuse his friends and attract customers to his club SuperDeluxe in the Roppongi district of Tokyo. But word spread and now people in 400 cities around the globe have put on Pecha Kucha Nights.
"Japan has inspired designers for generations, which is why Astrid and I came here 20 years ago and have made it our home," Dytham told me in a recent phone conversation. "Japan has inspired us all. Now it's time for us to inspire Japan," he stated. So he and Klein are working with Architecture for Humanity to organize the global Pecha Kucha Night. "We want to show the Japanese people that the creative world is thinking of them and that all is not lost, that it is possible to stand up and rebuild."
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