Crowd at PechaKucha.We’ve all had to sit through those coma-inducing PowerPoint presentations, the ones where someone ums and ahs their way through an endless number of slides, often reading text right off the screen. But what if a presenter were limited to 20 slides that automatically advanced every 20 seconds, for a strict but zippy 6-minute, 40-second talk? You’d have PechaKucha, a dynamic presentation format launched in Japan that’s now become an international phenomenon spanning 540 cities worldwide. We’re proud to announce that Table XI, along with Chicago’s Firebelly Design, will be partnering with PechaKucha (pronounced peh-CHAK-cha ) to develop their new website and help build their global community.

PechaKucha is the brainchild of architects Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham Architecture in Tokyo, who in 2003 conceived of the 20x20 format as a social and practical way for young designers to share their work. Their company-sponsored PechaKucha Nights turned into massively popular events that quickly expanded beyond design topics and into other cities. Now hundreds of cities (including Chicago) host free, monthly PechaKucha nights open to the public, where anyone can speak about anything they want. Despite its reach, the concept remains refreshingly simple: Share something you’re passionate about in a concise manner and friendly environment (then get off the stage).

Having flourished into thriving online and offline communities that are growing daily, the organization realized the need to update their web presence, and we could not be more thrilled to come aboard as their development partner. We’ll be working with them and Firebelly to build a more interactive and user-friendly website that will make it easy for fans to find out about events and watch videos of PechaKucha Nights from around the world. We’re also taking PechaKucha mobile for the first time and helping them foster their ever-expanding network.

"After a global search for a development team, which took us from Tokyo to the West Coast, New York, London, Amsterdam, and back to Tokyo, all roads still seemed to lead to Chicago for PechaKucha,” says PK’s Mark Dytham. “It is one of our best PechaKucha cities; Firebelly, our great UX team, is there; and now Table XI joins the fray as our developers! They have the technical detail, the passion, the edge, and the personality that make all the difference."

This is a really exciting opportunity for us to work on a global scale, and, on a more personal level, to adopt the PechaKucha spirit in our own office. We’ve started inviting TXI staffers to give their own 20x20 talks at our monthly team lunches, and it’s been a fantastic way to get know each other and our interests a little better.

As luck would have it, Chicago is hosting the largest PechaKucha Night in the US this Thursday, August 16, at the Art Institute’s Modern Wing. We’ll be there, and you should, too!

Have you ever attended a PechaKucha Night or given your own presentation? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the format or tips for presenting, so leave them in the comments.

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