Writer: Gem Barton
Still riding high on the back of the PechaKucha at Design Junction on Friday evening, which saw the likes of Jason Bruges, Lee Broom and Anthony Burrill keeping the whiskey-riddled crowds inspired and entertained, I spoke with PechaKucha co-founder Mark Dytham.
Below, PK co-founder Mark Dytham shares with us stories of the first PechaKucha event, reflects on how it has affected his architectural practice and tells us who exactly, would be on his ultimate PechaKucha lineup.
Gem Barton: Who spoke at that very first PK night back in 2003?
Mark Dytham: We tried to pick 20 people, that were from completely different creative backgrounds. There was an architect, a poet, graphic design unit, a musican – it was really mixed. Like all PechaKucha Nights which have happened since is not about who the presenter is – it is about their passion, their story. Thats what makes the event so infectious. Well known presenters tend to be predictable. It is young creatives who have just finished their first ever project that bring energy, excitement and above all passion to PechaKucha Nights.
GB:Were there any first night hiccups? Have you refined the concept at all since it’s conception?
MD: I guess we took the 20 theme a bit too far and invited 20 speakers to present – the idea being they would all bring 5 friends and we would have a good crowd at our newly opened event space SuperDeluxe. But it is just a bit too many presenters for one evening. We started the event at 20.20pm – but that has never changed. 95 monthly events later we still start at twenty past eight – 20.20pm!
GB:How come you were in Tokyo at the time? Do you think PK would have been as well received in another city?
MD: We run our own architectural office here in Tokyo, and still do. And have held it every month in our event space SuperDeluxe, although we take a breaks in August and December. Japan is a very horizontal place, every one is given a chance, everyone is respected. This allowed famous presenters to feel at home with sharing the stage and mic with graduating students. 20 images x 20 seconds is a great leveller. It ran in Tokyo for 2 or 3 years before if other cities around the the world started picking up the format. Could it have started anywhere else, I guess so, but it had a really great chance in Tokyo.
GB: Has running PK impacted the principles of Klein Dytham Architects
MD: It has reinforced lots of our thoughts. Keep positive and positive things will attract around you.
GB: What other tasks do you wish could be over in 400 seconds?
MD: 8 hours of sleep.
GB: If you were to speak at the London Design Junction PK – what would you speak about?
MD: How Japan has kept positive in the face of adversity.
GB: What would be your fantasy PK line-up? [alive or dead]
MD: Buckminster Fuller, Steve Jobs, Stanley Kubrick, Neil Armstrong, Andy Warhol and Banksy.
A big thank you to Mark Dytham of Klein-Dytham Architects.
Event photography by MagicandMafia