Last night, I was one of the lucky people to snag a ticket to the second of D&AD’s ‘El Presidente’s’ Sanky Lecture series. Simply titled Pecha Kucha (Everything Is More Interesting Than Your Desk). I’d never heard of Pecha Kucha (fail I know), but simply put, it’s 20 slides, 20 seconds a slide. This simple construct last night created some really interesting dynamics, both of content and delivery and how natural extroverts excelled in this enviroment. You got nothing to say? And don’t know how to tell it succintly? Then frankly, your fucked.

Luckily, every single one of the presenters last night, while not all natural extroverts, told amazingly inspiring stories. Some were linear, some were abstract, some were absurdist, some were sublime, some very polarising, but they were never boring. It might sound hyperbolic ‘the morning after’ but this was an inspiring experience that will stay with me and I hope a great deal of the other audience members for a long time yet. This was in no small part to how the speakers spanned massively divergent practices but in the end, threaded up a to greater whole.

In the spirit of the event, I’ll surmise my take out from each one succintly and come back to the narrative I took from it later.

It’s Nice That
Having a blog name that does what it says on the tin is crucial, (see sexyexecs.blogspot.com et al). The web throws up bonkers found shit all the time, (passiveagressivenotes.com) And having an ever mindful creative eye on the world around throws up brilliant stuff (Matt Stuart – googles top hit as photographer)

Simon Waterfall
Simon (not literrally) threw his slides in a random order, which created a chaotic and fun journey. Main take outs? Otters (particuarly ceramic ones) are annoying, sci-fi is technology porn, delta airlines are beyond shit (Agree) and Atlanta airport is equally shit (hopefully won’t have to agree) fountain pens are awesome,  and Burning Man is arranged as system that makes it almost impossible to lose people (and easy to meet people).

John and the boys managed to slow the pace and provided in classic Bibliotheque style a clear and precise system of inpsirations, that was both personal, and professional in equal measure. The three divided time to 6.3333333333 seconds per image. Strangely hypnotic, personally fascinating.

Kate Moross
Triangles, computer games, chipmunks, found stuff (truthfully every creatives love), Jewish Camp, Rock Band Metallica dreams, insomnia, a massive collection of NOW albums, The Sims and isometric game design make up some rather lovely and highly modern take on the world.

Simply bought the house down. Smiling soldiers at 6, council graffiti cover ups that looks like abstract art. Found objects (again) that look and sound like geezers asking for a light outside the local moody boozer. Reimagining the young persons death photo in the local newspaper from a cheesy graduation photo (subtext – so much to live for etc.) to a smorgasboard of interests surrounding a slightly faded pic culled from facebook it seems (chiefs likes I noticed: Vanilla Ice). You sort of had to be there. Brilliant.

Tomato Design
We started with this logo, we quickly moved onto a brilliantly sideways look at the cultural meanings of this. The first logo? Abstract, funny, but thoughtful.

As we rounded the corner into the final stretch, things took on slighlty more polemical tone, with a few ‘legends’ (and one idiot) joining the fray…

Andy Cameron
Wow. ‘It’s not technology, it’s what you do with it.’ this was a sometimes awesome breakdown of digital from someone who has been there from ‘the start’ we saw videos from Yoko Ono’s Fluxus Group art moment ‘Cut Piece‘ to the the work of Giotto di Bondone in Italy back in the day (the 14th Century to be exact), and also found out that the Bennetton Fabrica centre by Tadao Ando also doubles as a very useful real life Quake game level (who knew?).

Mr Manchipp very eloquently expanded on current branding themes that are true to some hearts (e.g mine) while smashed it out the ball park with others. Highlights included the logo is dead moment that had the butt cheeks of many designers in the audience clenching at the thought. A nice exploration of the concept of Brandworld, using the example of Hermes moving way beyond the logoification of it’s brand to a holistic approach that still derives for value (and desirability) for those who wish to be associated with it. He also had a picture in his deck of what look like a fist up an arse.

Neville Brody
The Design Idiot (his words, changed from legend before the event) provided the first true ‘hush’ moment of the event. The reverence was thick in the air, which Brody proceeded to use to smash a metaphorical steel chair over the attendees heads with our lack of engagement in the social fabric of our day, (“this fucking government with their fucking cuts”) and the co-opting of icons (e.g Che Guevara as a symbol of commodity). It gave the room a heavy comedown from the jovialness of some of the other speakers, but by using examples of Tibor Kalman and and the Situationists and this as examples it became a rallying and thought provoking presentation.

Graham Fink
You know you’re in for something special when the speaker brings a samurai sword onto stage. Fink sythed through his potted history of, citing heroes (Tony Kaye in particular) and brilliantly making sure that all of us in the room, the ideas we have had and will have, all originate from the same place. A microscopic amoeba, (pic here) about as sideways a look as you can get and genius with it.

So what did we ‘learn’ then from this? Well firstly, I hope my surmations have done a small justice to what went on in Logan Hall last night. If it hasn’t well, BUY A TICKET NEXT TIME.

Taking a pen and pencil to this event would have been pointless, because this wasn’t about learnings you could put into you next powerpoint presentation (or indeed in a blogpost as Brody pointed out) this was a celebration of instinct, the creative instinct that we all share, that as Fink pointed out “can’t be fucking planned by a planner” (cue applause). But instinct isn’t enough, to create great work, across any creative sphere, is to be DISRUPTIVE. Game changing fly in the fucking face of convetion balls to wall brilliant stuff comes for this place. To be your own person, not a sheep, tracking trends doing more, but doing different, bold and sometimes bonkers to push society and yourself forward. Not more stuff for stuffs sake, but do awesome shit.

Sanky’s call to arms reflects this. Everything Is More Interesting Than Your Desk

I’m now going out do something amazing.

You should do that to.

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