How to Fight Darkness

"Is reality this dark? I don't believe so. I believe it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we think everything is bad, everything will be bad."

In How to Fight Darkness from PechaKucha Night Stockholm Vol. 54Philip Smith poses the question, "How will we fight the dark powers and the evil galactic empire together?" (the evil empire being the often sensationalizing and fear-mongering media.) His answer is simple - ART! ...and more specifically, Art made of Light! Here Philip gives us a very funny and uplifting PechaKucha on the challenges the the world faces in a continuous barrage of negativity, and reminds us to use the force (and make art!)


"At the Swedish Fashion Council, we work with different projects to promote, support, and develop Swedish Fashion. Our aim is to highlight new fashion brands...though our exhibitions and fashions."

In Swedish Fashion Talents, from PechaKucha Night Stockholm, Vol. 53, Helena Bergström, Marketing Manager at Swedish Fashion Council, presents the nominees of Swedish Fashion Talents 2015, a 10-year running award for young fashion designers - this year won by Simon Ekrelius.

For this week's City Focus, we head to Sweden's "Beauty by the Water," the Nordic capital and veteran PKN city, Stockholm, to shine a light on its fantastic -- and ever growing -- archive of presentations, latest of which were recorded at the city's Vol. 53 at the famous Stora Salongen!!!

“We are convinced that the best way to preserve a tradition is to develop it.”

Johan Molin speaks about the fulfilment of our dreams and goals. In “Moonhouse” from PKN Stockholm Vol. 50 he tells us how he breaks free from the perceptions he has about what he is capable of.

It was a big night earlier this week in Stockholm, as PechaKucha co-founder Mark Dytham hosted -- along with PKN Stockholm organizer Ewa Kumlin -- a very special PechaKucha Night (Vol. 44) as part of the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair. Pictured, Heineken's Global Head of Design & Concept, Mark Van Iterson (left) with Mark Dytham, in front of the crowd at Berns. Make sure to check the Stockholm city page in the weeks to come to watch the recorded presentations.

Whether it be built of glass, poured-in-place concrete, or steel I-beams, the big bad whole may huff and puff, but he'll never blow these structures down. These are the top 5 PechaKucha 20x20 presentations related to buildings, construction, and architecture. 

First, we hear from Gary Cheng, whose tiny Hong Kong apartment has innumerable transmutations. (Transformer Apartment) Then we listen to Bob Berkebile's experiences with failure, and how it drove him to improve upon the architectural status quo. (Failure)

Filipe Balestra discusses the importance of placement when constructing public works projects in urban villages. (Acupuncture Architecture, Urban Villages) Emma Brooke then takes us on a tour through the harsh, unfeeling (yet somehow beautiful) world of brutalist architecture. (Brutalism)

And as a bit of a crossover with last week's top 5 of the animal kingdom, Roland Hagenberg describes the construction of a house meant for humans and a feathered friend. (Storkhouse)

Do you believe technology to be a force of good?

In today's Presentation of the Day, "!dea that is India" from PKN Stockholm Vol. 20, industrial designer and architect Satyendra Pakhale speaks briefly about his design work, but moves to discuss the issues found in consumerism, and the reduction people to numbers. He expounds upon the double-edged sword that is technology, mostly focusing on the tremendous positive impact a simple mobile phone can have on a man or woman in India or Tibet.

In acupuncture, when putting a needle in just the right place, one can drain the tension from the entire body. Acupuncture architecture serves a similar need. Putting a single school in the middle of a village may seem insignificant when compared with the greater area it exists within, but certainly helps the community it's surrounded by. 

This edition of Presentation of the Day (from PKN Stockholm Vol. 21) features international architect Filipe Balestra speaking on the work he's done to alleviate the architectural stress found in the slums (or, as he suggests they be called: urban villages) of Brazil and India. Filipe's process involves gradually implementing sturdy, cheap, simply-designed housing constructs of various types.

Rather than uprooting entire communities (as is common in large-scale urban reconstruction projects) only the most poorly-constructed shacks are chosen to be replaced with a more permanent edifice. Each family has the opportunity to choose from various permutations of the 3-floor framework and participate in their current shanty's demolition as well as their new domicile's fabrication. By avoiding imposition wherever possible, and working in tandem with existing residents and local governments to legitimize these structures, Filipe's projects have done some real good. 

Our weekend "Presentation of the Day" is a special one, recorded as part of our reconstruction efforts in Haiti -- see more in our Haiti Reconstruction Channel -- Johan Karlsson explains why we shouldn't send tents to disaster areas.

It was certainly a PKN to remember, with Stockholm's Vol. 38 attracting over 1000 (possibly close to 1200) for an event that included an international lineup of design, including Ross Lovegrove, David Wiberg, Mette Rode Sundström, and Anton Alvarez. We already have a few photos on the event page to share, and there will be more in the coming days, as well as the presentations themselves.

Pictured left, Ross Lovegrove takes to the stage.


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