San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

San José holds fourth PechaKucha

Hundreds of people packed into the sixth floor of the parking structure on Avenida Escazú Wednesday night to see some of San José’s creative talent on display. Called PechaKucha, the event was the fourth of its kind; the first took place in 2007.

PechaKucha is series of presentations involving 20 images each displayed for 20 seconds, while someone discusses creative work. The first PechaKucha Night was held in Tokyo, Japan, in 2003 and the term PechaKucha stems from the Japanese sound of conversation (“chit chat”). It was received so well that more than 580 cities now host nights of creative ingenuity every year. The cities include Miami, Amsterdam, Bogota, London, and Tel Aviv.


Sonámbulo performed at the finale of this year’s PechaKucha.

Chris Rey

Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham Architecture conceived the rapid-fire format for young designers, photographers and anyone with a creative idea to meet, network, and present their work to the public.

The idea was to keep things to the point. According to PechaKucha’s website, “Give a microphone and some images to an architect – or most creative people for that matter – and they’ll go on forever! Give PowerPoint to anyone else and they have the same problem.”

If you were thinking that the event sounds like TED Talks, you would be wrong on at least one count. Because anyone is allowed to present at PechaKucha nights, the format is considered “bottom up,” while TED Talks are “top down.”

During San José’s fourth installation of PechaKucha Night, creative topics ranged from photography to the art of making beer to independent film-making. Juan Carlos Abarca presented photos of his sculpture work, which focused on the need to communicate, practicality and symmetry.

One of his sculptures on display was a tortured-looking creature composed of rusted metal. This year’s event also shined for the craft beer provided by Costa Rica’s Craft Brewing Company, and a final performance by up-and-coming Costa Rican band Sonámbulo.

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