Last week I had the honor of participating in AIGA's PechaKucha Night at Fair Park. I encourage everyone to attend one of these events if you never have. You can learn all about the format and watch presentations from around the world on the PechaKucha website. The event last Thursday featured ten 6:40 timed presentations, 20 slides each (no bullets) from Dallas creatives ranging from a chef, a graffiti artist and yours truly, an engineer. The theme for this event was 'Drawing New Landscapes" and it featured presentations focused on how local creatives are going about changing the landscape of North Texas for the better in a wide variety of ways.
This was a great opportunity for me to speak to the real movers and shakers in Dallas about the need to make a concerted effort to improve water quality in North Texas. I am a firm believer that it may not be the engineering community that makes this happen in an acceptable time frame. The creative types are the true visionaries that will embrace the need to change and are willing to do the right projects, the right way, right now. My involvement with the AIGA group began two years ago when I joined a group of volunteers to develop a concept for urban trail wayfinding as part of GOOD Magazine's 'GOOD Ideas for Cities' challenge. You can view our presentation on that here. Two years later, our concept is being rolled out in Dallas.
It will take collaborations like this to move North Texas forward toward a more livable and resilient future. They start with an idea, and then a simple presentation will be critical for engaging our communities. Highly technical presentations at seemingly weekly engineering conferences in the area have their place but they fall way short in engaging the community and driving real progress forward. My hope is that other leaders in the engineering and architecture industries will join me and pursue opportunities to speak at events like PechaKucha. It is a very rewarding experience, and the beer and wine was a nice bonus for presenters and audience alike! Big thanks to my good friend, Brian Murphy, of SUBJECTMATTER for extending the invitation to me.