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Guest blog: PechaKucha creates creativity in Cardiff

Angharad Pocock has been working within the Architecture and Construction industry for the past 10 years. She set up her own Interior Architecture and Design company, Streamline Interiors Ltd, at the beginning of 2011. Angharad is passionate about promoting the creative wealth of the Welsh design community. 

By Angharad Pocock

Angharad Pocock

Give a creative person the opportunity to talk about their work and passion and they will ramble on all night.

But it’s great to hear about what other people are up to. Us creative arty types thrive on it; it plays a big part in what inspires us.

Book clubs, open mic sessions, art galleries — they all provide a platform for sharing creative passions. Yet they don’t combine the huge variety there is under the term creative.

In February 2003 two British architects, Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham, devised an event with a format that makes presentations concise and keeps things moving at a rapid pace. Living in Tokyo, they were inspired by the Japanese term for chit chat: PechaKucha.

PechaKucha nights bring all designers, writers, poets, scientists, artists, etc., together in a fun and informal environment to share their ideas, thoughts, work and inspirations. The rapid and fluid pace of the presentations is achieved by using a format consisting of 20 images with each image automatically moving forward to the next after 20 seconds.

Events are now held in hundreds of cities all over the world. From Honolulu in the North Pacific Ocean to Mauritius in the Indian Ocean and in Cardiff, Wales.

PechaKucha is truly inspiring creatives worldwide.

PechaKucha Night, Cardiff, held at Chapter Arts Centre on Tuesday 14 June, will be the fifth one in Wales’ capital. I have been to three of the four held so far and have been amazed each time at the variety of creative people in South Wales.

Presentations have consisted of Dr Ben Evans talking about the Bloodhound project: a research team of young engineers and scientists at Swansea University developing an incredible car capable of 1,000mph. Then there was Jon Chase, a science rapper aiming to become an effective and engaging science communicator. He rapped the story of evolution, which with the images he used was one of the most engaging things I’ve seen and heard.

An artist's oil paint palette -- one of the slides in Angharad's PechaKucha talk.

Times are hard for many of us at the moment with the struggling economy, and creative industries often suffer badly. But it is very motivating to see that in South Wales we have a thriving creative community that doesn’t let these things affect its imagination.

If anything it has the opposite effect, it encourages people to think outside of the box, to come up with new ideas, new ways of thinking and producing…. constructing…. creating…. developing. PechaKucha provides the platform to share all of this.

There will be eight speakers at the forthcoming PechaKucha event in Cardiff ranging from a graffiti artist to a neuroscientist/comedian. I’ll be speaking, too, about what has inspired and influenced me through my life to be the designer that I am now and starting up my own Interior Architecture and Design company.

Angharad painting the house in 1979.

I’ve been a creative person for as long as I can remember, but it’s been fascinating delving a little deeper into where my creativness came from. I particularly loved finding photos of myself from when I was 2 and 3 years old, painting the outside of the house and helping to turn a big computer box into a playhouse. It was my parents at this early stage who set me on my creative path. There were no computer games in the late ’70’s so we got creative with the things around us instead.

If you want to find out more, come to PechaKucha Night, Cardiff. Tickets are free, but it is advisory to book them in advance as the event is becoming very popular.

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