pecha kucha night #17 – highlights

After finally making my way down to the first Pecha Kucha night, I realized what a great even this is, and now wished I had attended more. I didn’t want to miss this one as it was the ‘West Coast Modernism’ special. The opening band, The Zolas, was great! I really enjoyed their unique music. Their songs were quirky and had some excellent beats (including tempo changes and singing styles changes throughout their songs). Check out their website page and have a listen, though I definitely liked these guys live much better than their studio sound. The vocals were what made the band stand out for me in the end which doesn’t translate as well into their studio sound unfortunately.

Steven Cox from Cause+Affect came on afterwords and introduced himself as well as the sponsors for the event. He briefly mentioned all the speakers that were going to be presenting as well. Pacific Palisades was one major sponsor and they were giving away a Public bike at the beginning of the show with a raffle. Here is a link to their blog post.

Some of my favorite speakers were:

1. Pamela Goldmisth-Jones, Mayor – West Vancouver focused on community within her family, the neighborhood and public spaces within the city and their new community centre as the city’s Living Room with doors open.

2. Mike Bernard, Gavin Froome, filmmakers – Coast Modern Film really once again reaffirmed that I must continue to be patient for their movie to come out about west coast modernism. According to them, it was targeted to be out in 2008, then 2010, now maybe end of this year. I know that the wait is going to be worth it. Just watching  those trailers on their website makes me drool. I also much support the film that it tries to teach about getting away from demolishing significant homes such as the mid century moderns just for the sake of building some gaudy monstrosity in place of it.

3. Bo Helliwell, Kim Smith, architects – Blue Sky Architecture spent their time taking about how they came to be the architects they are, how they met each other and some of their fantastic projects. I commend them on how environmentally friendly they truly try to make all of their homes. Their design philosophy is quite simple in using natural materials and being sensitive to the land around them.

4. Julian Pattison, landscape architect – Considered Design Inc did an awesome job presenting. He even had time to sip his beer during the speech. Cheers! Check out a video of his speech on their blog here.

5. D’Arcy Jones, designer – D’Arcy Jones Design was a pleasure to listen to. Even before he got on stage, the crow loved him, as Steven was reading his run-on-sentence-with-lots-of-big-words bio (see it here on his website) people got the idea that they were in for a special treat. He began with a drawing he drew as a child some 30 years ago that got the crowd roaring! He spoke of what makes him tick about design and made some good points that “just because someone puts a lot of thought into it doesn’t make it good design” which was accompanied by a photo of a 70’s sunken living room with octagonal coffee table, shag carpet throughout, and some purple paint on the walls in the background. He finished off with showcasing some of the projects he is working on and concluded with explaining how he works on renovations being sensitive to the existing home when there is good historical value to preserving certain aspects of the design (such as roof shape, or exposed post & beams). His work never fails to inspire. I also love seeing the picture of Clint Eastwood in his award-winning cabin design on the huge screen!

6. David Scott, architect – Peter Cardew Architect spoke about his experience building his own cabin and some of the work at Cardew architects.

7. Sean Pearson, creative director – RUF Project showed a ‘cabin‘ if you will, that the firm recently completed. This was an amazing piece of architecture with roots of the design based on traditional First Nations long houses in the Salt Spring Island region. The detailing on this house is exquisite. They incorporated long beams (as long as BcFerries would allow) in the long dimensions of the house and it looks fantastic. Way to go!

Upon leaving the show, I felt very much inspired, not just by the excellent speakers, but also by the turn out (a sold out show!) that people really do care and are interested in west coast modernism.

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