The seventh installment of PechaKucha Night in San Antonio is upon us. One week from tonight, on August 23 at the Center for Architecture in the Pearl, eight presenters will spend a total of six minutes and 40 seconds each sharing their passions over the course of 20 slides. Eight presenters, 20 slides, 20 seconds. That’s it.

PechaKucha Night came to San Antonio in February of 2011, but the first event took place in Tokyo in February of 2003. Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham architecture pioneered the presentation format, holding the first ever PechaKucha Night in their “gallery/lounge/bar/club/creative kitchen” called SuperDeluxe. Their intention was to create a space for young designers to interact and publically share their ideas and work. According to the PechaKucha website, the name comes from the onomatopoetic Japanese term for the sound of “chit chat.” Only one PechaKucha series per city is allowed, and the night is voluntarily run by a city organizer – in our case, the Architecture Foundation of San Antonio.

Next Thursday, the evening kicks off with a happy hour at 6:30pm, and presentations begin at 7:30. Bring cash to make your $5 donation at the door. PKN6, which took place earlier this year in May, saw a record crowd. Vicki Yuan of Lake|Flato Architects heads up the organizing committee and by her estimate, some 350 people attended. A word to the wise: Get there early. Attendance this time will be capped off around 200 or 250.

The fast-paced format allows every presenter to display 20 slides for 20 seconds each. Some presenters talk through the slides while others allow the audience to experience the images accompanied by music or even in silence. Topics range from serious to lighthearted and deeply personal to informative.

Who can you expect to see this time at PechaKucha? As usual, the presenters span the spectrum of ages, backgrounds, professions, passions. Here’s the inside scoop on the PKN7 speakers.

Edwin Blanton, Humanitarian: Blanton, who currently oversees volunteer and community service programs at Trinity University, is a former US Peace Corps trainer and volunteer. He a cofounder of the international non-profit organization “Ready, Willing…Enable!,” which organizes volunteers to provide educational programs for families of and persons with disabilities.

Nathan Cone, Cinephile: Cone is the Director of Classical Programming at Texas Public Radio’s KPAC 88.3 FM and since 2001 has curated Cinema Tuesdays, TPR’s popular summer series. Check out his Twitter account for movie news in 140 characters or less.

Brooke Harris, Florist: Harris is the founder and owner of Fresh Urban Flowers in downtown San Antonio, and has worked in the wedding and event industry since 2006. She involves the community with Fresh Urban Flowers through art workshops, gallery showings, and social events.

Mark Oppelt, Architect: Oppelt, a founding partner of OCO Architects, has spent nearly 30 years working on major K-12 school projects. Outside of OCO, Oppelt is involved with the Land Heritage Institute, a living land museum on the banks of the Medina River in far south San Antonio.

Aaron Prado, Musician: A native to San Antonio, Prado is a pianist, composer, educator, and radio personality. You may recognize Prado’s voice from his past gig as the Music Director and announcer at Trinity University’s radio station, KRTU 91.7FM. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in jazz studies at UT Austin.

Andrew Porter, Writer: Porter is a writer and educator who teaches fiction writing and directs the creative writing program at Trinity University. He is the author of two books, The Theory of Light and Matter and In Between Days. Pulitzer Prize winning author Marilynne Robinson said: “Andrew Porter has the kind of voice one can accept as universal—honest and grave, with transparency as its adornment.”

Davis Sprinkle, Architect: Sprinkle is the principal of Sprinkle & Co, an architectural firm that has been innovating for more than 25 years in the municipal, educational, residential, commercial, and religious spheres. You may be familiar with some of Sprinkle & Co’s work, like the St. Benedict’s Lofts, the San Antonio River Extension, or perhaps the Culinary Institute at the Pearl Brewery.

Lanny Sinkin, Chief Advisor to the King: Sinkin lived in Hawaii for seventeen years, working with the sovereignty movement to restore the nation of Hawaii. He currently serves as Executive Director of Solar San Antonio and as chief advisor to a man who thousands believe to be the king who will restore the Hawaiian Kingdom.


WHAT: PechaKucha Night San Antonio Volume 7

WHEN: Thursday, August 23, 2012. Happy hour at 6:30pm, presentations at 7:30pm.

WHERE: The Center for Architecture. 200 East Grayson, Suite 110 (in the Pearl Brewery).

BRING: $5 to make your donation at the door.

Miriam Sitz works for Accion Texas Inc., the nation’s largest non-profit microlender. A graduate of Trinity University, she blogs on Miriam210.com and sells handmade goods on TinderboxGoods.com. Follow her on Twitter at @miriamsitz. [Click here for more stories from Miriam Sitz on the Rivard Report.]

Miriam Sitz

Miriam Sitz writes about urbanism, architecture, design, and more. Follow her on Twitter at @MiriamSitz