Global PechaKucha Day – Inspire Japan

If you’ve been to the front page of this site sometime this week (I have to assume that many of you reading this in your feed reader), then more than likely you’ve noticed the giant banner I have there now. It’s for the big Global PechaKucha Day – Inspire Japan event I’ve been working on over the past few weeks, set to happen this Saturday (April 16). I alluded to it in a recent post, but if you don’t know about it, it’s a big charity event we’ve put together, bringing together the PechaKucha community — we’re 404 cities strong, as of this writing — for a day/night of events all over the world, with the goal of raising funds for reconstruction efforts in Japan. As with last year for Haiti, we’re teaming up with Architecture for Humanity.

The core of the event is on Saturday, with a whole bunch of cities holding PKNs, and a lot of them will be streaming live as well — just go to the Inspire Japan site on the day of the event, and whatever is currently streaming live should be up at the top of the site. But our Inspire Japan efforts will also span all of April and May, and we’re inviting organizers of all PKNs during this period to collect donations — because this all came together so suddenly, many cities were not able to re-schedule already planned events, and some just found it difficult to organize something on the 16th.

Here in Tokyo, instead of our regular home of SuperDeluxe, the event will be held at the Roppongi Hills Tokyo City View (52nd floor), with doors opening at 17:00, and presentations starting at 18:00 (it should run until around 21:30 or so). Entry will be a minimum donation of 1000 yen — you’re of course welcome to leave more. To access the event, you’ll need to go to the 3rd floor to get a free ticket to get to the top, and we’ll have signs there to point you to the event space (where you’ll pay the entry fee).

This will also be the first time I present in quite a while — I only presented once at a PechaKucha Night, 3-4 years ago at a special Tokyo Design Week edition with my friend Jesper (it was about the Swedish Style event we had organized at Cafe Pause). This time, I’ll be teaming with Ian, who is responsible for all of the Inspire Japan graphics you’ve been seeing. The presentation will pretty much be about design efforts to raise money for Japan aid, based on that post I started a few days after the quake, as well as the follow-up I did in last month’s edition of my “On Design” column for The Japan Times. For his part of the presentation, Ian will cover the projects he worked on to help raise awareness and collect donations.

The event should be amazing — I mean, you can’t really beat that view — and you’ll also be contributing to reconstruction efforts, so I urge you all to come and support us. Also, if you’d like to help spread the word, feel free to get and use Inspire Japan banners and ads that Ian created, as well as a very cool (and workable) QR code that SET Japan designed for us.

PechaKucha Night in Tokyo Vol. 80

Hey, tomorrow night (Wednesday, February 23) not only marks the momentous Vol. 80 for PechaKucha Night, but this week (and February 20 specifically) also marks PechaKucha’s 8th anniversary. The evening’s presenters will also feature a few friends, including the New York Times‘ Hiroko Tabuchi, Tokyo-based artist Rob Judges, and Edward Harrison (Idle Idol, Fuzz & Fur). Come one, come all, it all happens at SuperDeluxe, with presentations start from 20:20.

Where to Find Me

Every month or so, Warren Ellis puts out a post on his site in which he explains where you can find him on the web and elsewhere — sort of a monthly updated FAQ on what he’s up to — and I figure I should do one as well, since I’m sure that someone who has just arrived to my site for the first time might have trouble understanding what exactly I’m up to these days.

First off, this week saw the launch of my latest project, The Magaziner, a new site that will cover the growing push of magazine into the digital world — something I’ve been covering here for a couple of months now, but realized it made more sense to create a proper space for it. It is also accompanied by a Twitter account, which I’m now using for my magazine-related tweets, and has a Facebook fan page too.

Last month I also launched a new weekly music podcast I call Codex. It’s usually me playing a selection of 10 tracks, but I’ll have the occasional themed shows (like the next one), guest episodes (soon), and I’m also going to start adding what I call the Codex Coda, short guest mixes. You can download all previous episodes here and subscribe to an RSS feed — it’s in the iTunes Store too.

Radio OK FRED is the long-running music podcast series I do with Editions OK FRED‘s Yoshi Tsujimura and Audrey Fondecave, and although it’s been on yet another extended break (apologies for that), it still pops up every once in a while, and I’m hoping we’ll be able to make 1 or 2 new episodes this month.

Then there’s PauseTalk, my monthly creative talk event that takes place at Cafe Pause here in Ikebukuro. We’re on a bit of a break this month and the next (due to the holiday slowdown), and so the next edition will take place February 7. If you’ve never been there, it’s a very casual salon-like atmosphere, where a bunch of “creatives” basically get together and discuss topics that affect us, share projects, ask for advice, etc.

SNOW Magazine is the natural extension that was launched at the start of the year for all of the Tokyo/Japan-related art/design/culture coverage I used to do on this blog for many, many years. Although most of the content is provided by me, it does include the occasional guest columns and feature. SNOW also has a presence on Facebook and Twitter.

That means that this place, JeanSnow.net, is again a hub for all of my activities, so don’t come looking for Japan-related news, really. I’m on Twitter as well — where some say I actually tweet too much — and of course Facebook.

On the book side of things, while I’ll remind you that my previous contributions — Arcade Mania and Tokyolife — make for great holiday gifts, next up will be the release early next year of the fifth editions of The Rough Guides to Tokyo and Japan.

And although it doesn’t get updated as much as I’d like, my little gaming corner — simply called GAME — still features a host of games that I like a lot. I’ll try and get back to adding a few each month.

The PLAY series, where I would spin virtual discs at Cafe Pause every once in a while, is also on hiatus, and I think it has pretty much been taken over by Codex. I actually want to occasionally record some live Codex shows from the cafe.

You can also still catch my monthly design column for The Japan Times, “On Design,” which is published on the last Thursday of every month. It focuses on product design, and each one usually has me recommending five new items. I also contributed two items to the Japan Timesholiday gift guide piece, which was published today.

And even though I don’t really contribute anything in the written sense, I would say that I’m a “spiritual” contributor to Néojaponisme, David Marx‘s web journal that covers social and cultural aspects of Japan, which explains my editor-at-large title. Although the site has slowed down a bit this year in terms of new content, expect a bunch of great year-end reflections to appear later this month.

I’m also a proud member of Luis Mendo’s Goodfellas Network, and more specifically part of the GOOD Inc. Japan team. If you’re looking for a terrific group of people to work on a magazine-related project (print or digital), then please get in touch.

Last, but CERTAINLY not least, I continue my work as Executive Director of PechaKucha, where my role is mostly behind-the-scenes, but I also provide a public face through the PechaKucha Daily blog, and on Twitter. Local PKN organizers from around the world are the people I mostly deal with, but do feel free to get in touch if you have any questions regarding all things PechaKucha, whether it’s about holding a one-off PK event, starting a regular PKN series in your city, or anything else you may have on your mind. Since the organization is run as a non-profit, sponsorship enquiries and collaborations are also VERY welcome!

So there you have it, and if all of this wasn’t enough, do feel free to email me with any question you may have.

Last PKN in Tokyo for 2010

Tomorrow night (Wednesday, November 24) isn’t any old PechaKucha Night, nope, it’s actually the last one of 2010, since December is always a skip month. So come on down to SuperDeluxe for what is looking like a great night of presentations, including my pal Ian who is promising to give away free stuff, and Audrey who will be talking about TOO MUCH magazine. If you want to say hi, just drop by the front either before or during the beer break, as I sit at the front next to Mark and Astrid.

Let Me Out

At least that’s what my dog was thinking. I was out just for a bit this morning to run a few errands in the neighborhood, only to get back and find the door in the shape you see above, and a missing dog. He not only broke through the door, but then managed to climb the walls around the garden, which are about a meter and a half high (the gate was still locked). Luckily he didn’t get too far, and someone grabbed him and then called the police. As soon as I got home I headed to the closest koban (police box), and they said they already had him and that they were going to bring him, which they did, in a van.

So yeah, this means I won’t be able to go to PechaKucha Night tonight (Vol. 75), but you should.

Update: Well, wife says she’ll try and get home from work early enough so I can still head out to PKN, so hopefully see many of you there.

1000 Articles to Read

Just posted the 1000th post on the PechaKucha Daily blog — that’s a lot of posts. Sure, there were a few up there before I started, but I must be responsible for at least 99% of them. If you didn’t know, yeah, that’s one of the things that I do as part of my PechaKucha duties, trying to keep a lookout on happenings across the 300+ cities that host PKNs worldwide.

PechaKucha Control Center

Here I am, acting all serious and shit at the “control center” this past Saturday for the big “Global PechaKucha Night for Haiti” — in the foreground you see the back of the head of Mark Dytham, and my PechaKucha colleague Tomoko. The photo is courtesy of Arvin Panwar — more photos from that night here.

Happening at Tokyo Design Week 2009

  • Yes, it’s that time of the year again, Tokyo Design Week is just around the corner, this year kicking off on a Friday instead of the traditional Wednesday, running October 30 to November 3. Best way to find out about everything that’s going on is to pick up the guides to the events — they should be popping up around town soon — and of course to check out the official event websites: DesignTide, 100% Design Tokyo, Tokyo Designers Week, Swedish Style, and Design Touch.
  • So instead of “Happening in Tokyo” event posts, time to start some “Happening in TDW” ones. I still don’t know how much I’ll be able to take in because of my back (it’s much better, if still painful at times), but I’m still going to try and sample as much as I can.
  • Currently I’m most looking forward to the DesignTide opening party on Friday night (although I believe it’s not a public event). It’s always a good opportunity to get a first glimpse at everything, and chat up the attendees.
  • More of a pre-TDW event, this month’s PechaKucha Night in Tokyo (Vol. 66) happens this Wednesday (October 28), and it will of course have a TDW flavor to it. This will also be the first PKN I attend in quite a few months, so happy to be able to join up with team PKN again.
  • Berlin’s DMY will be participating at DesignTide, with products and prototypes from 14 Berlin-based designers.
  • Designboom presents Hermès Paris: “A design adventure from high-quality bags to helicopters and yachts, an online graphic competition for the upcoming tie collection and the world preview in Tokyo of new high-tech suitcases. A presentation of the most recent development inside the Hermès design department, and a Q&A with design director of Hermès Gabriele Pezzini conducted by Birgit Lohmann (Designboom).” It happens at the design conference/forum space at the 100% Design Tokyo venue in Jingu Gaien on October 31 (12:00-13:00).
  • And of course, don’t miss the Designboom Mart, again a part of 100% Design Tokyo.