Dispatch: TDW PKN

Here’s how my relationship with Pecha Kucha Night goes. I started going regularly around two years ago. After a few months of this, I started writing about it for various publications. Then, during last year’s Tokyo Design Week, I finally ended up doing a presentation myself, in order to promote a Swedish Style-related event I was producing (with my partner, Swedish graphic designer and event producer Jesper Larsson). The thing is, after that night of presenting, I never again made it to another one. It was if my yearlong love affair with the innovative event couldn’t withstand the eventual consummation — as the best (and worst) of scripted TV romances have proven again and again.

But Thursday, November 1, was to be the biggest Pecha Kucha Night in Tokyo ever, presented in collaboration with DesignTide. This edition of PKN traded the familiar underground surroundings of SuperDeluxe for a side section of Japan’s National Stadium (not far from the DesignTide main site), which offered an outdoor experience. (The covering thankfully never became necessary despite afternoon rains). Proud parents — Klein Dytham Architecture‘s Mark Dytham and Astrid Klein — were understandably beaming with joy, sharing news of the event’s epidemic-like growth (now in over 80 cities), as well as the release this week of a book commemorating the “movement” (sold at the appropriate price of 2020 yen.) As is the norm, chaos was a constant companion — Jesper, who produces a PKN in his home city of Gothenburg, Sweden — was suddenly paired a few days ago for a brand new “ping pong presentation” with the organizer of the San Francisco edition, who seemed to be completely absent until the very moment the names were called…

I don’t have any exact numbers, but guessing from the crowd that gathered — the place was packed even before Dytham and Klein hit the stage — I wouldn’t be surprised if it was indeed the biggest ever PKN, just as advertised.

Update: Photos available here from photographer Jeremy Lanig.

Jean SNOW
November 2, 2007

Jean Snow lives and breathes design and pop culture in Tokyo — sustained by an unhealthy addiction to magazines and frequent visits to his favorites cafes. His personal website is located at jeansnow.net.

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