Lecture Notes: Pecha Kucha Boston 10

Pecha Kucha Boston 10

Of the three Pecha Kucha events I have attended, last night’s was my favorite. Held at Mantra, the audience was a smaller than previous PKs I’ve attended, but the 6 speakers, who varied in tone, purpose, and style, all did very well. My favorites included Michael Born of Born Illustration, Tim Hwang, co-founder of ROFLCon, and Hoss Gifford of Marque Creative.


Michael Born artfully described the function and value of architectural illustration, and also reviewed a bit of the method behind of his 3D-based illustration style (which uses SketchUp as a base, with fantastic and occasionally animated results).


Tim Hwang spent his 6 minutes discussing the existence and use of non-aesthetics on the internet, citing low-design examples such as the TRONguy meme, and 4chan. 4chan is fascinating in particular as a site which apparently has more visitors than CNN.com, despite/because of its exceptionally basic “aesthetic.” (Um, it also could be related to 4chan’s disturbing hilarity. Review /b/ at your own risk. Not gonna link. Find it yourself.)


Hoss Gifford had no real point, but spun a great yarn about what it was like to be running marketing campaigns for mega-skyscrapers in cities from Chicago to Dubai during the worst economic collapse since the Depression. SPOILER ALERT: He failed. But the trip was amazing, and included many illuminating details: it turns out that in Dubai, it is illegal to have debt. Within 5 days of the fiscal collapse, over 3000 cars were abandoned at the airport, glove-boxes stuffed with outstanding credit card bills and apologetic notes. Crazy-times.


Also worth noting was Mike Mai’s piece. A recent grad of MassArt, Mike’s senior thesis project was to develop a merchandising empire around a fictional, and terrible, “ganssta” rapper persona (warning: MySpace auto-audio). The design work was solid, although derivative; however, it is hard to fault Mike for that, as cynical derivation was mostly the point.


It was a great event, with interesting orators and attendees, and it absolutely re-affirmed my belief that people should be ballsy enough to get up and talk about the things that get them excited.