uver’s 17th Pecha Kucha Night, or as many affectionately know it: PKN. PK[N] is a world wide event that takes life in many cities across the globe, originating in Tokyo as Pecha Kucha in 2003 but quickly spreading; currently, it’s been hosted at 418 cities world wide.
This Pecha Kucha Night, #17, was themed West Coast Modernism; naturally there were many speakers from West Vancouver’s throbbing modernist community.
The Zolas were the house band that played as one walked into the Vogue, which are a local band that are getting a lot of attention lately. I really enjoyed their music. You can listen to some of their songs on their website.
They gave away a bike this time. In spite it being orange and being a girls bike, I still wanted it.
Pamela Goldsmith-Jones started off the night, who just happens to be the mayor of West Vancouver.
I really enjoyed her talk on her beliefs about how a community should become more transparent, opening up to the community to show anybody who is interested what goes on within the now open doors of city hall. To me, it feels like what Edward T. Hall calls polychronic time, which he says stresses involvement of the people and completion of the transaction rather than adherence to a preset schedule.
The whole theme of PKN #17 really seemed to intertwine itself with involving human space with nature. I encourage that whole heartedly.
Mike Bernard and Gavin Froome, two filmmmakers explained their progress through nearly completion of what appeared to be their latest film, which you can read more about on their website.
What I was intrigued by was the journey they told us about, how it worked its way along the coast of North America.
They spoke of meeting with architectural genius’ and getting a behind scenes look at their craft, as well as the people themselves.
This is a feeling that really started with hearing Carson Ting speak at PKN #16, speaking about the necessity of transparency in the business, as well as how the entire process can be considered art, not just the final product.
Bo Helliwell and Kim Smith , from Blue Sky Architecture, spoke about their architecture in a rather interesting format.
They organized their presentation in order of the layout of the designs for the houses they’ve created, to say Live In Architecture (I know at least ‘live’ and ‘architecture’ is right).
I really loved their architecture, it is the kind of pieces of work that will forever be used as templates for years to come by students and professionals alike in the trade.
Julian Pattison the Design Director and Landscape Architect of Considered Design really played with radical ideas of how to incorporate humans into the environment. Removing the separation gap to still keep our luxuries we feel that we have, but also introducing a whole new intimacy with the landscape around us.
Free Lee was a very interesting speaker. A woman who started out as an architect, is now what you would call an integrative healer. She explained how she infused various frequencies into drinks, food, rooms, and really anything to do with life to create a sort of connection between harmony and life in a different dimension that one would typically think of.
I was immediately interested when she mentioned the Fibonacci sequence and how she was hoping to use this as a tool.
David Scott is an architect who really interested me because of his connection with nature. He repeatedly made mention of powder, which, as we all know, is where it’s at.
That and he also made note of how something that symbolizes West Coast architecture is this Rocky Mountain bike, which I happen to have nearly the exact same one sitting outside my door.
A very interesting group of speakers was Issac Vanderhorst, Joyce Song, and Callum Kelpin who represented the West Vancouver Museum. They talked of the programs held there to promote architecture, and mentioned how Callum happened to be the youngest presenter at PKN, an impressive feat as a 17yr old.
They explained a bit each of how they had managed to be picked to present at PKN, which was winning a local architecture competition. They both created really amazing pieces they showed, I think I heard a few ‘wow’s and ‘oh’s from the crowd when they both showed their completed projects.
D’Arcy Jones was a really interesting designer, funny guy too. He talked of his thoughts on, once again, integrating with nature in a modern way, least invasive design, rather than total removal designing.
He really impressed me with his interest in keeping traditional feel, with a modern look to it, lots of exposed wood and windows.
Cathy Church of Tartooful Design also stressed similar things to D’Arcy, being the importance to embrace that heritage we have inside the homes. However, Cathy was more nostalgic than D’Arcy in that she wasn’t impressed by new features, and additions to older heritage homes, where D’Arcy’s job seemed to be to design them into a new pieces of modern art.
I enjoyed Cathy’s thoughts on sustainability though, expressing how it can be done, how she lives with her family and they do it themselves. Re-using, re-cycling, and reducing the imprint on the environment by being a conscious buyer.
John Fulker fully interested me. He was a retired architectural photographer from some of the really blooming days of the modernism scene in Vancouver.
He really interested me when he mentioned how he wished that he hadn’t strayed away from black and white film that he had used in his earlier days.
I had the pleasure to talk to him afterwards and he explained to me that this leaves a whole lot up to the imagination. Allows for the audience or viewer to interact with the photograph more than they would if they had a full colour image.
Adele Weder, a architecture critic and curator gave us a rather interesting perspective: that of the critical side, rather than the creation side. It’s funny how, based on the industry you’re in, you’ll point out different things. Some people point out beautiful aspects of architectures, others point out the flaws they don’t like.
What intrigued me about Adele was that she wasn’t just a walk in, take pictures, point out flaws kind of critic at heart, but her quest was to integrate herself into the houses she critiqued and live in them. Not a bad gig if you can get it!
Sean Pearson was another architect that really embraced west coast living to the extreme, going back to the traditional First Nations long house, with their (the team that makes up RUF Projects) latest design on Salt Spring Island. A very beautiful building indeed.
Sean concluded another successful Pecha Kucha Night in Vancouver. I left the building feeling renewed with a sense of hope that progressive thinkers, critics, and architects to our society and community all have, or are beginning to feel, a collective feeling of togetherness from our environment, with an essential step being embrace it, not destroy it. Use it as a catalyst to how we move ourselves into the future.
I cannot help but feel excited for PKN #18!