PechaKucha Presentation

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Joanna Gillespie

Independent Art Consultant, Project Manager, Co-Director PechaKucha Buffalo in Buffalo

"This is my 6-minute memoir. A mediation on impermanence."

In A Brief Memoir of Architecural Space from PechaKucha Buffalo vol. 17, independent arts consultant and co-organizer of PechaKucha Buffalo, Joanna Gillespie, delivers a meditation on twenty of the fifty places she has lived since birth. From Victorian-era structures in Buffalo, NY and San Francisco, CA, to the wilds of the 1970's California coast, to modern and efficient rural Japan, to a Postmodern art utopia in Maine, and beyond, Gillespie recounts a particular memory from each space. Through all of the temporal landscapes we find ourselves in, Gillespie concludes, "We forge on, either clumsily or assuredly. We keep on keeping on." Even if we move fifty times.

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The Beginning of Memory

BY MIGUEL GUITART, PH.D.
@ VOL 14 ON NOV 17, 2015

"The story of Buffalo is inextricably linked to the notion of memory. That memory is now in Danger."

In The Beginning of Memory from PechaKucha Night Buffalo Vol. 14, Spanish architect and academic Miguel Guitart remembers the importance of Buffalo's signature past and visual legacy that has made the city unique, and compels the audience to slow down enough to observe it for themselves, together on a quest to find it's soul once more. In this beautiful poetic performance, he shares a series of ephemeral photos of the city, titled "Americana" with music by Philippe Rombi and excerpts of Laurie Anderson's "The Beginning of Memory", illustrating that despite PechaKucha's fixed format, presentations can take all forms.  

This was "PechaKucha of the Day" on Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015. 

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Playing with Colour

BY BACKOFFICE (CORYN KEMPSTER & JULIA JAMROZIK)
@ VOL 15 ON FEB 04, 2016

"Colour often comes down to strategically finding the moments that change in a faster time scale." 

In Playing with Colour from PechaKucha Night Buffalo Vol. 15, the artist/designer team of Julia Jamrozik and Coryn Kempster (known as BACKOFFICE) talk about their recent project, LINE GARDEN. In 2014 Jamrozik and Kempster used 500 wooden stakes to weave a mile of colourful plastic barrier tape into an occupiable, abstract field at the International Garden Festival at Reford Gardens/Les Jardins de Métis. They speak about the making of the installation, LINE GARDEN, and it’s adaptation for the 2015 edition of the festival, together with other related projects.

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A Wall and A Column: 2 Projects

BY ANG LI
@ VOL 16 ON APR 14, 2016

"A wall and a column...what they have in common is an interest in looking at the cultural agency of traditional building materials and their ability to speak."

In A Wall and A Column: 2 Projects from PechaKucha Buffalo Vol. 16, architect and University at Buffalo Peter Reyner Banham Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor Ang Li presents a pair of site specific installations that explore the cultural agency of vernacular building materials. Horror Vacui is an installation in Lisbon, Portugal that examines the ability of building facades to “speak” through the medium of the Portuguese “azulejo” - hand-painted ceramic tiles often depicting scenes from historic or civic events. The piece explores the narrative potential of bricks and mortar within contemporary image sharing and crowdsourcing platforms. No Frills is an installation in Buffalo, New York that stems out of an interest in the industrialized production of terracotta in the 19th century as a new kind of ornamental language. In a semi-abandoned Chevrolet Factory by the architect Albert Kahn, a 13-foot column interrupts the existing grid of the assembly floor,  acting as a bridge between the vast scale of obsolete industry and the human scale of the architectural ornament.

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Foraging and Picking

BY BRIAN CARTER
@ VOL 17 ON SEP 15, 2016

"Architects are hunters and gatherers." 

In "Foraging and Picking" from PechaKucha Night Buffalo Vol. 17, professor of architecture Brian Carter provides a retrospective of twenty postcards from his many travels, highlighting what each image signifies in the mind of an architect. Carter reminds us that architecture can be an international language. It prompts travel, causing us walk into buildings, to meet people, and to listen, sense and smell the places that we go. 

This was "PechaKucha of the Day" on Monday, November 21st, 2016. 

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Building Black Utopias: Modeling the Architectural Principles of African American Literature, 1960-1975

BY CHARLES L. DAVIS, II, PH.D.
@ VOL 17 ON SEP 15, 2016

"We started with several books that looked at the brownstone as a site of intervention."

In Building Black Utopias: Modeling the Architectural Principles of African American Literature, 1960-1975 from PechaKucha Buffalo vol. 17, Charles L. Davis, II, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, shows works from his recent exhibition project, Building Black Utopias, and discusses the literature that served as inspiration. 

The Building Black Utopias project combines the tools of the architect, the historian and the literary critic to recover the historical contributions of African American writers to architectural utopian thought. It specifically examines the role of literary depictions of place in June Jordan, Amiri Baraka, Paule Marshall and Angela Davis’ writings. Davis argues that each authors’ rhetorical manipulations of the built environment operates on the same level as architectural utopian thought insofar as both mediums created rich, alternative depictions of modernist space to liberate the architect’s imagination. The final exhibit translates the spatial ideas of literature into drawings, models and other ephemera.

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Collage City

BY JEAN-MICHEL REED
@ VOL 17 ON SEP 15, 2016

"An architect, it seems, has to be an optimist and idealist. That by building we're somehow making the world a better place. But before you need buildings, you need people."

In Collage City from PechaKucha Buffalo Vol. 17, artist, designer, realtor and retired paramedic, Jean-Michel Reed, shares stories and perceptions of Buffalo, New York as an intimate outsider. Reed moved to Buffalo in 1992, working first as a paramedic, and later transitioning to both a designer and a realtor as the city attempted an about face. Cites are made first of people, and then within those individual people, of experiences. It is this combination of convergent and divergent experiences that construct the sociological makeup of place and city, which, in turn manufactures the physical landscape. 

This was "PechaKucha of the Day" on Wednesday, December 14th, 2016.

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Buffalo Entertainment District Project, 1977-78

BY FRANK PALEN, ESQ., AICP
@ VOL 18 ON SEP 24, 2016

“Think of me as a time traveler. I’m going to take you back to a place called Buffalo in the 1970s.”

In Buffalo Entertainment District Project, 1977-78 from PechaKucha Buffalo Vol. 18, attorney and urban renewal advocate, Frank Palen, recalls the creation of a historic district for theatre and culture from a once abandoned rust belt urban core. From 1977 to 1979, Palen was Research Associate in the Center for Community Research and Development at the University at Buffalo’s School of Architecture and Environmental Design, serving as Coordinator of the Buffalo Entertainment District Project. The University at Buffalo’s graduate studio investigated the potential of promoting a theater district in what was then an increasingly abandoned section of Downtown, despite various setbacks and a challenging political climate. The result was a very high-profile effort that set an agenda for the redevelopment of Buffalo that continues today.

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How to Write a Memoir

BY TERI METCALF
@ VOL 12 ON SEP 26, 2017

Based on her own writing experiences, Teri Metcalf provides some basic tips on how you can write your memoir.

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Ribbon of Green: DL&W Rail Trail

BY JAJEAN ROSE-BURNEY
@ VOL 19 ON MAR 14, 2018

"Amid a dense urban environment, a beautiful ribbon of green stretches off into the distance…”

In Ribbon of Green: DL&W Rail Trail from PechaKucha Buffalo Vol. 19, Deputy Executive Director of the Western New York Land Conservancy, Jajean Burney, describes the vision of a 1.5-mile elevated linear park, greenway and rail trail on the former Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad corridor in Buffalo, New York. Similar to the High Line park in Manhattan, where an abandoned stretch of the New York Central Railroad has been transformed to a vibrant public space, the goal of the DL&W Rail Trail is to redevelop an obsolete infrastructure as public space to encourage human connection with nature and neighborhoods.