Urban design event: Pecha Kucha tonight (5/15) at the Roosevelt in Ybor

Nick Algee of 1Sky & CleanEnergy.org hit my inbox last night: Friday night May 15th is Pecha Kucha Night at the Roosevelt. WTF is that? I gotta say it is one of the more intriguing events to arrive amongst a tedious list of a gazillion emails I rather not read. Nick is a cool guy, with an important mission, so I read his emails first, and damn, I'm glad I did. This is tonight!

I also have to say Ken Cowart, Pecha Kucha organizer, is responsible for helping Tampa is move up on the way cool scale with this event, starting with the venue itself. The Roosevelt, owned by Joe Redner, is a 103 year old building in the throes of a massive green retrofit. A model of sustainability, it will serve as a showcase of 21st-century construction ideas. The Campus TV Project 3.0 at The Roosevelt is a place in which artists and other creative types can lease space and incubate new ideas.

So what is Pecha Kucha? Held in 195 cities around the world, I betcha I couldn't find anyone except some architect geek types, sorry Adam, to tell me. Enter the Google Gods, a quick trip round the net to reveals that it was conceived by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham as a place for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public. The first Pecha Kucha took place in Tokyo at Klein Dytham Architects offices at 8:20 p.m. on March 20, 2003, yes the time and date is very relevant, give me a minute, err 20 seconds to explain. Under the PKN rules, 20 presenters show 20 slides on a topic relative to urban design, with only 20 seconds to narrate each slide. As someone who has sat through many a dry, monotone speaker presenting such exciting topics as "Trends in Solid Waste" and "Measurement of Indoor Air Quality Toxins" , no joke it was at the same conference, not one of the middle aged men in the room was laughing. 20 slides in 20 seconds, is gift from heaven that lands Tampa on the map of a city on the upswing.

This is no ordinary urban design presentation. It is an EVENT!

Oh, and courtesy of the Google Gods, Pecha Kucha is Japanese for "the sound of conversation" and pronounced peh-CHAK-cha

Come join us for a lively evening full of ideas, images and good discussion about design. The event will begin with a reception (beer, wine and light appetizers) at 7 p.m. and end with spirited conversation. Presentations to begin at 20:20 (8:20 p.m.).

The Roosevelt is located at 1810 15th St., Ybor City.

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