Pecha Kucha Night returns to C-U this weekend. Here's a local designer's take on the networking/creative event.
I wrote a story for today's e3 about Pecha Kucha Night, which is at the Canopy Club on Saturday night. It's the second one so far in Champaign-Urbana.
I talked with local designer Andy Warfel about the event via e-mail, but didn't have room to put all his comments into my story. Here's more of what he had to say about the event:
"Presenting was an honor, and a hoot. The format is strict, but honestly that aspect wasn't much of a challenge for me - I often give timed pitches and presentations, and so much of what I do as a designer of temporal experiences is, well... timed out (even when I do my own portfolio slideshow, I time each slide at 3 seconds - so that wasn't particularly difficult) - what WAS difficult, and rather challenging, in fact, was that they asked me to present WITH my brother David - and we had never presented together before, so we had to learn how to do that, as well as develop completely-new, "neutral" content.
"It would have been so much easier to simply present my "greatest hits" projects, or even just one of them, but in the end it was very rewarding and I even think we pulled it off nicely (FYI, we spoke about the trials and tribulations, and rewards, of the collaborative process, through a ose-tinted lens of agriculture.)
"(PK organizers) Christina (Tapp) and Madelin (Woods) asked if I'd emcee the second P-K Night, and they're just so darn swell, and what they're doing is so fantastic, I simply couldn't decline - personally, I believe that you have to pitch in to make any bit of difference, and I like what they are doing and want to help.
"Pecha Kucha Night is, as you may be aware, something of a global phenomenon in design-related circles - it is a high point on the calendars of many designers, architects, artists, and entrepreneurs in almost every major city on the planet, and the reasons for that are, I think, very simple:
- it's a terrific way to present new ideas, and for the audience to see and learn about what other creative people are doing
- designers are both inquisitive and competitive by nature, and are always seeking out the new and different - so this is a fantastic way to see or present things which one might not otherwise see or present, to a receptive audience
- as a presenter, the commitment level is so fabulously minimal - your bit is over and done in six minutes and forty seconds, and there are many other presenters - so it's not terribly time-consuming, you know you'll be "in good company", and either way it'll be over before you know it
- most importantly, though, it's also a phenomenal networking/ community-building event - designers and artists tend to spend unhealthy amounts of time holed up in studios and ateliers, staring at glowing rectangles and working through problems alone, and often only have the opportunity to present their ideas and creations in stressful situations (client meetings, pitches for business, presentations and proposals for grants, etc.)
"P-K Night is an opportunity to be out of the studio, hob-nobbing with like-minded people, at an event which requires very little investment (both in time and money, but also in terms of effort), and that can often provide inspiration, and even a heightened sense of belonging - of being essential, or vital, important, well-regarded, or even just understood - it's kind of a "perfect storm" in this respect - and there's beer involved, too!
"... in a nutshell, it fits perfectly with CUDO's raison d'etre - to spotlight the incredible diversity of talent we have here, to bring out, and bring together, the best in the local creative community... and have a hell of a lot of fun doing it."