D&T9: Pichi Kichi Presentations

In preparation for our end of term Pecha Kucha presentations, this week in our Design and Technology lecture, we each gave a “Pichi Kichi” presentation. A Pecha Kucha is a presentation style that takes the form of 20 slides each appearing for 20 seconds. A “Pichi Kichi” is a shortened version of this consisting of 10 slides of 10 seconds each. The slides are designed in such a way that they roll over automatically, meaning the presentation has to be slick and well-rehearsed. These presentations were on famous designers that were randomly allocated to us.

My designer was Giorgetto Giugiaro, an Italian car designer widely thought of as the most influential car designer of the 20th century. The impact he has had on the design of today’s cars is astonishing. I will give a brief overview of Giugiaro before talking about the presentations themselves, and a little about other designers that stood out to me. As a fine art student in Turin, it was Giugiaro’s artistic flair that captured the attention of the car manufacturer Fiat who first introduced him to the world of Automotive design. He had worked for Fiat for 4 years without making any significant progress, when Gruppo Bertone sold a drawing he had done to Alfa Romeo. This was Giugiaro’s breakthrough. He moved to work at Bertone and never looked back. He went on to set up his own company, Italdesign. He has worked on a huge variety of cars, from super car to hatchback, and has designed cars for: Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lotus, DeLorean, Chevrolet, Maserati, Volkswagen, Alfa Romeo and many more. His most influential design, whilst not being that of a sports car, is widely thought to be the VW MK1 Golf. It paved the way for hatchbacks and was sold in record breaking numbers all over the world. Giugiaro was once asked if he wanted a badge reading ‘designed by Giugiaro’ on every golf they built, but he turned the offer down.

“It would cost more to make thousands of badges every day than the money I got from the entire project”

Giorgetto Giugiaro

This practical mentality and lack of ego was instrumental his long-lived success and staying prominent in car design for over 60 years. In 1999 he was awarded ‘Car Designer of the Century’ by the Global Automotive Elections Foundation, and in 2002 he was inducted to the Automotive Hall of Fame. 

10 seconds per slide is a really short amount of time, and to give an informative account of a career lasting over 60 years in 100 seconds is tough. I decided to keep the information on each slide to an absolute minimum, and only have an image that was relevant to what I was talking about on the screen. I was conscious not to overload the audience with too much to take in, and by filling the screen with excess information this would have been guaranteed. I still feel however that I tried to squeeze to much verbal information into the 100 seconds. It can be really difficult to concentrate on what is being said when what’s being said is coming at you at a rate of knots. When it comes to the Pecha Kucha presentation, we will have longer to speak and get our point across, so it should be less of an issue, but none the less it should be something to consider. A common issue that we as a group encountered was that we were being ‘pushed around’ by the slides. This either came in the form of a pause waiting for the next slide to come around, or for the presenter to have to stop what they were saying and jump ahead in their speech. I think what is on screen behind the presentation should be an aid to what you are speaking about, not the other way around.

Some of the presentations were good and informative and over the course of 20 Pichi Kichi’s, we were shown a range of designers and their work. A few are worth mentioning. Most designers will have heard of Sir Kenneth Grange or Thomas Heatherwick, but one that stood out to me was an up and coming, new to the scene designer. Mirjam de Brujin is a young designer who has created a method of removing water from household products (that are usually made up of more than 80% water). She has provided these products in a concentrated powder or bar, allowing the user to add them to water at home in a reusable plastic container. The overuse of plastic is an everyday battle that designers are faced with, and this is an ingenious solution that tackles the problem head on. She challenges herself to go further than just research and creating ideas, but to develop them into “functional but elegant and attractive products.” I believe she is a great role-model for all young designers.

At the end of the presentations, Hugh (our tutor) challenged us to consider where the designers we had researched and presented about were from. We went around the room and discovered that the vast majority were all from Europe, most were men, and (I think) all where white. None were from Africa. In a separate blog on my great design feed I am going to look into this issue.

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