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PechaKucha takes people out of their comfort zone

What do a fashion designer, marine biologist and architect have in common? They will all be taking part in a PechaKucha Night tonight at the Vasco Da Gama Club in Hamilton.

Fashion designer Rene Hill, marine biologist Choy Aming, architect Julia van Beelan, photographer Ian MacDonald-Smith and writer Krystl Assan will be among the speakers at the event.

Also scheduled to present is Chris Worboys, a business development consultant for Bermuda Engineering, Philip Seaman, an architectural technologist and trustee Geoff Gardner.

PechaKucha was started by a pair of Tokyo-based architects who wanted to find a way to get visual visionaries — many of whom were isolated, introverted and self employed — out into the community to talk and network.

Their solution was to give such people a platform to share their ideas and current interests and hear from others doing the same.

PechaKucha literally means, ‘the sound of casual chatter’, and encourages creative thinkers to present their out-of-the-box ideas on any topic of their choice. The audience is shown 20 images on a projection screen, each for 20 seconds, while the presenter is tasked with talking along with the images.

That means the presenter has exactly six minutes and 40 seconds to get out their idea.

Mr Worboys said he decided to take part in the event to help educate the public about his area of expertise: renewable energy.

He said there were still a lot of misconceptions about energy efficiency technologies — particularly about the cost and technologies available — which he hopes to better inform people about.

“The public seems to have a lot of misconceptions about renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency and we feel as a community that gap in understanding is holding us back in developing a more sustainable energy supply,” he said. “This was an opportunity to look at those myths and knock them on their head.”

Mr Worboys encouraged people interested in any of the topics to attend the event. He said it was “a good concise way” to find out more about a wide range of subjects.

Presenter Mr MacDonald-Smith will be using his six minutes to talk about his photography work, particularly water reflections.

He admitted he hadn’t heard of the event before, but thought it would be a good opportunity for him to crystallise his thoughts on a photography series he has been working on for 26 years, by describing it in just six minutes.

Though he is nervous about the task of public speaking, he said he was excited to “sit back and enjoy other people’s presentations”.

Organisers for the local event, Nicky Gurret and Aideen Ratteray Pryse, said a great thing about the event is it forces people out of the house and “into a social space for stimulation and interaction”.

The last event, held at Chewstick, was a great success and had a packed house. Ms Ratteray Pryse said they were aiming to have at least two more this year at a different venues.

Tonight’s event will be held at the Vasco Da Gama Club on Reid Street, Hamilton, starting at 6.30pm. For more information visit ‘PechaKucha Night Bermuda’ on Facebook.

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Published May 09, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated May 08, 2013 at 6:53 pm)

PechaKucha takes people out of their comfort zone

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