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Short and sweet

You all know about Pecha Kucha?

OK it's a style of presentation invented by Tokyo-based architects Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham ( Oh, no. you think. Hours of boring me-me and very average visuals in a darkened room.

But not so. Pecha Kucha (Japanese for chit-chat, apparently) has a rigid format: 20 slides and 20 seconds maximum of talk for each. That's it. Six minutes 40 seconds and pull the plug.

I had fondly imagined that, apart from a few manifestations over the last couple of years in London (and Europe), the gabby architectural fraternity had firmly slammed the lid on that. But in fact it's such an incredibly excellent idea that it's sweeping the world as I was reminded by an article in, of all places, a consumer computer monthly, PC PRO.

The magazine's hacks had sat through rather too many 65-slide Powerpoint presentations about the latest bit of boring computer kit - lured by the promise of being flown to exotic locations to hear the spiel. The airport hotel is normally all they ever get to see. It happens to us lot too.

The only down side to Pecha Kucha is that it is customarily run using Mac presentation software, Keynote. Nothing wrong with Keynote. It's just that most of the people who need Pecha Kucha most, viz.architects, have pcs.

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