Pecha Kucha, San Francisco

“Pecha Kucha is a Japanese term that roughly translates as chit-chat, or perhaps as irritating chatter.”  Originally created by Klein Dytham architecture in Tokyo, where this idea has already gained a lot of success, Pecha Kucha is an image sharing, design event that has been happening in San Francisco for the last three months.  The venue for this event was 330 Ritch, a hip but gritty club tucked in an alley down near Pac Bell park. 

I went in with some preconceived notions that didn’t line up with the events that actually transpired.  I supposed that there would be a lot of high-end graphic design and architecture projects with folks showing the latest and greatest of what they’d been working on.  Instead the evening played out much more like a comfortable salon. 

Presenters dropped their images onto a central computer which projected slideshows as the rules of Pecha Kucha define: 20 people showing 20 images for 20 seconds each.  The presentations ranged from elevations and satellite photos of the greatest architectural environments created by humans to photos of album covers from late 60s to early 80s jazz and rock bands.  Some presentations were very personal such as a slideshow of work done by one presenter’s students and associates and another set of photographs of a rural mining ghost town in [West Virginia, Pensylvania]. 

The salon environment led to an easy atmosphere for conversation with the wall-to-wall crowd (I didn’t get a seat the whole night).  There was almost an air of this event being “Flickr Live”.  One bit of bashing I would like to do is to condemn the group that ordered pizza into 330 Ritch for their small table while the rest of us had to stand there and smell it – selfish and way out of line.

All-in-all this event was the kind of community building that continues to fight the anonymity of city living and I’m excited to see what develops.  In looking over past Pecha Kucha events in SF, it appears that a lot of the presenters have been the same over the last three months.  There were no shortage of folks in the room so hopefully some unique members of the audience will step up for future events.

Subscribe to the mailing list at the San Francisco Pecha Kucha site for info on upcoming events.

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