PechaKucha of the Day

I’m so happy to see this come out, a PechaKucha app! It’s a super simple idea, to have an app that shares a new PechaKucha presentation each day, and having played with it for a bit, it does just as advertised, with minimum fuss. I especially like the portrait images used for that day’s presentation (you can also scroll down to watch previous presentations). Give it a download, it’s free! And here are more details form the latest PechaKucha global newsletter.

10 Years of 21_21

I have lots of fond memories of the 21_21 Design Sight, from the excitement when it was first announced — I mean, a building designed by Tadao Ando, and led by Issey Miyake, Taku Satoh, and Naoto Fukasawa, holy shit — to getting to work with them a couple of times through PechaKucha, by way of a kids workshop and event as part of the “Design Ah!” exhibition and Roppongi Art Night 2013, and then another event the following year. Not only are they celebrating 10 years — time sure flies — but they’re also converting the restaurant space that was on the left side of the main entrance to a new gallery space. Via Spoon & Tamago.

20 PechaKucha Achievements from 2016

It’s become a tradition that at the start of every year, PechaKucha HQ sends out a massive newsletter looking back at the previous year and highlighting 20 achievements — I used to put these together along with the rest of the team. This year’s edition — which you can read online here — is a fantastic list of 20 things that PechaKucha was involved in, that helped make the world a better place. Very proud of my old PechaKucha family on this one.

PKN at TDW 2016

14883543_10207374730874560_2821391739815025509_o

I’m sure we’ll soon get a full album of photos, but here’s the big traditional crowd shot that was taken at last week’s annual Tokyo Design Week edition of PechaKucha Night. Since leaving Tokyo, it’s always bittersweet for me to see these, as our TDW event was always one of the big highlights of the year, and I have quite a few memories of dealing with all of the extra work that goes into producing an event like this — compared to the monthly events at SuperDeluxe that are a cakewalk in comparison — as well as being in the back and running the slides on a laptop, with presenters coming in last minute to request changes or to fix something. Good times.

Google Span 2016

screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-21-55-16

Today (October 6, in Japan) in Tokyo is Google Span 2016, a conference featuring “conversations about design and technology,” and I’m blown away by the fantastic lineup, that not only includes a lot of smart people I know, but also a PechaKucha session. The space looks beautiful too. The entire thing is being livestreamed here (from 11:00 JST).

PechaKucha + Aichi Triennale 2016

08276ea8-ee0a-44be-8e1a-a777c681b032

It’s good to see that my PechaKucha family is still going strong, and I loved seeing in the latest Japan newsletter that they’re going to produce a special PechaKucha Night as part of the Aichi Triennale 2016 (on September 22 in Nagoya). Pictured, an image from the presentation by performance arts curator Akiko Fujii.

Visiting a Sofubi Master

screen-shot-2016-09-09-at-22-18-41

This is a great little video by Jian Shen of a visit to Goto-San, a master of sofubi (soft vinyl) toys, that also features my buddy Don Kratzer. If you like what you see and want to know more about the world of sofubi, Don’s been doing a series of PechaKucha presentations on the topic over the past few years, that you can watch online here.

The Tokyoiter

TheTOKYOITER_Tilly

The Tokyoiter is a fictional tribute to the great covers of The New Yorker, done as a project to celebrate the love illustrators have for the city of Tokyo. It was started by a couple of friends of mine, Andrew Joyce and David Robert, along with Tatsushi Eto. A new cover is shared on the site every Sunday, and you can watch this PechaKucha presentation to hear Andrew and David talk about the project. The cover in this post is by Tilly (aka Running for Crayons).

 

Airbnb’s Tokyo Office

w1408

A new post on Designboom showcases the beautiful new Tokyo offices of Airbnb, produced with Suppose Design Office. Despite the news we hear of Airbnb having some legal issues in Japan — or even just not being welcomed by residents who dislike seeing their neighbors rent out their spaces — it seems like the company is doing quite well in Japan. On a personal note, it was always great to have them partner up with PechaKucha, especially for our annual PechaKucha Pow Wow, a summit that brings PechaKucha Night organizers to Tokyo for a few days of sharing — Airbnb Japan provided discounts to these organizers.

This Is October

This is this, and that’s that.

A bit of an update on the various things I’m involved with, starting with the very happy announcement that was made a week ago that PressPause is coming back for a second season, starting on Thursday, November 6 (at 20:00). We – me and my fellow organizers, Daryl Cole and Ryan Ruel – wanted to take some time to reconfigure things, in order to produce something that would work better in light of what we experienced with season 1. I explain it more in detail in this post on the PressPause site, but in short, we want it to feel more inclusive to people who can’t really commit to spending a lot of time on producing an actual finished game, but who still want to get a taste of what it takes to make one. We’ll still have lessons – and homework for those who want to put into practice what they learned – but we’ll also have a speaker each time, and we have a nice ending in mind that we’ll talk about more next year.

So if you’re interested in the making of games, and more specifically using Unity as a tool to make that happen, then please join us. You’ll find updates on the PressPause site, and you can now follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or subscribe to a newsletter.

As for PauseTalk, I apologize again for cancelling this month’s edition due to the typhoon. The typhoon business was actually all done fairly early in the day, and so there wouldn’t have been a problem, but I had to make the decision the day before, and didn’t want to take a chance – especially that we tend to get a lower turnout even when it’s just a rainy day. 

PauseTalk Vol. 82 will instead happen on Monday, November 10 – yes, it’s on the second Monday of the month instead of the first, to avoid clashing with the holiday and the end of Tokyo Designers Week. Hope to see a nice turnout then.

Although I’m not involved in producing PauseDraw, I’m really happy to see what’s happening with the series under the leadership of Luis Mendo, Adrian Hogan, and Eiko Nagase. After a summer hiatus, they were planning on restarting last week, which was also cancelled because of the typhoon, and so instead it’s happening today (Sunday, October 12). Follow them on Facebook or Twitter to stay updated on upcoming editions.

Lastly – but certainly not leastly – is our big Tokyo Designers Week edition of PechaKucha Night at the end of the month. As with the past couple of years, we’re having a big event under the dome on the TDW grounds, in a space that can hold up to 1000 attendees. I think we have a great lineup planned – with a possible surprise or two – and I’m especially happy that we got the creative director and lead dancer at the Robot Restaurant to present – should make for a fun presentation. It happens on Wednesday, October 29, and you’ll find the rest of the details here.

Oh, and I don’t mention it much here, but I do still write my monthly “On: Design” column for The Japan Times, which now gets published on the first Saturday of the month. The latest edition was published last week, and can be read online here.

So yeah, a big October (and start of November) with lots happening. Add to that much cooler weather and you have the makings of some nice times here in Tokyo.