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Living Future 2010: Pecha Kucha

by Gia Mugford

The Living Future unConference in Seattle ended its conference events with a Pecha Kucha night in a lively bar. Named for the Japanese term for the sound of "chit chat," Pecha Kucha presentations are fast and simple: 20 images each shown for 20 seconds. Presenters responded to the title “Living Future 20/20: Call to Action” with slide shows of futurist projects and a multitude of action plans. Along with architects and community activists, a lighting designer, a building day lighting expert, a marketing executive, and even a Microsoft developer, all weighed in on rethinking how we will live and use resources in the future. Here are some some highlights:

Designers Prisca Weems of Futureproof and Cameron Hall of Stave presented forward thinking projects for New Orleans and Yeosu, Korea. Prisca imagined a housing design competition for New Orleans, where green bungalows were part of sustainable neighborhoods supported by local green factories, and designers would be awarded one innovative project at a time. Cameron focused on the other side of the world, and showed Stave's design proposal for the 2012 Expo Oceanic Theme Pavilion, which won a Seattle AIA Honor Award. The BIO(da)TA “is a living and adaptive building set into and on the water, adjusting daily with the tidal ebb and flow,” visitors are immersed in the aquatic environment as they learn about saving it.

But designers’ work was not the only path to a sustainable future at the Pecha Kucha. Few could be more passionate about rethinking the city than Joe Brewer, Project Coordinator for Seattle Innovators. Joe exhorted the crowd to make Seattle “That City” – carbon neutral metropolis by 2030, and an example to the world. Inspired by Alex Steffen’s Seattle Town Hall Lectures, Joe and his colleagues organized a “Building Day” this March, to identify the necessary pieces of the plan. They have embarked on a mission to create an incubator network for sustainability in Seattle and he really, really wants you to get involved - you can sign up to collaborate with other Seattle innovators here.

You can view more details from the Seattle Pecha Kucha night here, or visit other cities’ Pecha Kucha presentations. If you’re inspired, you can even start a Pecha Kucha of your own. Seattle’s Pecha Kucha night was a great end to the 2010 Living Future unConference; it sparked lots of conversation and optimism. Even my ‘lectured out’ neighbor enjoyed the exuberant energy and the far-too-rare chance to carouse and shout during presentations!

Editor's Note: This post is part of our recap of last week's 2010 Living Future unConference. Click here for more.

Images of BIO(da)TA by Stave. (Source)

Gia Mugford is a recent graduate of the University of Washington’s Master of Architecture program, where she also worked as a graduate research assistant at the Integrated Design Lab of Puget Sound. Lately she has been revisiting her early life as a biochemist while researching sustainable water practices for the Cascadia Green Building Council.

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Thanks for the recap. It was a blast to share ideas with an Irish pub packed full of world-changers!


Joe Brewer

Posted by: Joe Brewer on 17 May 10

Sound like this event was a good one. I really like the idea that Seattle is pushing to become a carbon neutral city by 2030. Wow what an achievment that would be.

Trane Heat Pump

Posted by: james mentz on 18 May 10

Yes, thanks to everyone for such a super-charged and inspirational evening, a call to action indeed. Also want to note, as I did in the presentation that BIO(da)TA was a joint venture with 0-Plus, with Josh Brevoort, Lisa Chun, Ian Campbell, Dan Lenander and Kai Chiu also on the design team.

Posted by: Cameron Hall on 18 May 10

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