Storytelling in less than seven minutes
What kind of stories do people share?
I think everyone has a story. It could be about your skateboard collection, about the shoes you've got, it could be about your dog, it could be anything. My mum presented when she was in her 70s. She's made wedding cakes all her life and she's got all these still photographs of amazing wedding cakes so I got her photographs, which were prints, and shot them on my iPhone. Then when she was in Tokyo she gave a fantastic presentation about her cakes and the flower arrangements that she makes in the local church. Little did I know that at 10 o'clock on a Saturday night when Match of the Day is on the TV, she would go out and steal the flowers from everybody's garden so actually everybody's sitting looking at stolen flowers in church the next morning.
Astrid's daughter presented when she was five. She presented about her trip to London where she had her own camera. What was interesting is that when you see it from a kid's point of view, the thing that you see in the middle of the image, everywhere you go, is a handrail. Everywhere she went there was a handrail in her eyeline. Here's a handrail at the Natural History Museum, at the Science Museum, looking over the Thames.
Anyone can get on the stage. That's the interesting thing with the project.
I think everyone has a story. It could be about your skateboard collection, about the shoes you've got, it could be about your dog, it could be anything.
What’s the best story you’ve heard at a PechaKucha Night?
There's so many. I think my classic is, 'What is Big Bird?' There's a guy in Christchurch in New Zealand who studies flightless birds, like emus and things. He says he's going to study this very strange bird that lives in New York and there's only one of its kind and it's very tall and yellow. And it's Big Bird from Sesame Street. So he does this whole scientific analysis of him. It's brilliant.
But there are serious ones too. There was this architect in America who had designed this big hotel and in the opening week there was a collapse in the hotel. The bridge going across an atrium collapsed and 114 people died. He was in the hotel at the time trying to pull people from the rubble. He said it was the longest night of his life, he was left wondering if he killed these people. He went on to do a lot of heart searching and he established this thing called LEAD, which is an environmental standard that all buildings around the world have to adhere to because of this. I was in San Francisco when he gave this presentation and it was so moving. It's still one of my favourites, it's this incredible presentation about failure and about how failure can actually lead to success in a way. There were a number of things that happened in the lead up to the tragedy but out of this he felt that he had to do something for humanity.