A large crowd of eager Pecha Kucha-goers crammed into the offices of Pollard Thomas Edwards last night to hear a series of presentations on the subject of ‘Made in London’ – introduced by the man who started the show-and-tell phenomenon in the first place, Mark Dytham.
Dytham explained that the first Pecha Kucha night – where presenters talk along to 20 images, each displayed for 20 seconds – was held in Tokyo in Klein Dytham Architecture’s SuperDeluxe gallery in Tokyo in 2003, partially because, he says, architects talk too much. PechaKucha nights now happen in over 700 cities around the world, in a bottom-up, not-for-profit, and very social format. But on with last night’s show.
Presentations kicked off with Sarah Considine of Cass Cities, who detailed the products and makers thriving in London, from umbrellas to Caterham cars to Sugar Puffs, noting that it was perhaps the ‘kudos’ of London that was drawing makers back to the city.
Considine was followed by PTE executive director Andrew Beharrell, who spoke about the history of the practice’s Diespeker Wharf premises, including its role in marble and terrazzo production, with asides on the rise of making at Fish Island and Hackney Wick.
An equally entertaining double-act of Kate Malone, Artist and Stephen Pey, Associate Director, EPR came next, describing a building in Savile Row, and the aptly bespoke ceramic tiles façade they collaborated on for it, after much experimentation.
Pipers’ Matt Quinn described how his own career path had taken him from making sets on films such as The Life Aquatic to creating architectural models, property apps, exhibitions and information tables, including for an Abu Dhabi client who specifically wanted a ‘London product.’
The presentation given by head of interiors at Squire and Partners Maria Cheung concerned the complex crafting of a metallic sheep as a window display for Brooks Brothers that is set to travel on to Milan and Japan.
Holly Lewis from We Made That showed a series of public projects including Croydon Meanwhile Uses, Blackhorse Lane Shopfronts and the Bamboo Bicycle Club, again with a nod to Fish Island and Hackney.
And finally, Hawkins Brown partner Nicola Rutt talked about her love of pottery as a counterpoint to the long process of architecture, as well as her work with tie-maker Drakes and at Here East in the former Olympic Broadcast centre, with its mix of digital and analogue craft space and ‘cabinet of curiosities’.
David Taylor, Editor, New London Quarterly