By day, Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham run Tokyo’s Klein-Dytham Architecture — turning inspiration sparked from the convergence of their myriad global influences (she was born in Italy to German parents, schooled in France, and educated in Britain, where the pair met before moving east in 1988) into building-sized testaments to their creative prowess. They just so happen to have designed our new happy place in Tokyo, Daikanyama T-Site, pictured here. By night, Astrid and Mark foster the global movement known as Pecha Kucha. This isn’t the duo’s first stroke of brilliance — Klein-Dytham designs some of the prettiest buildings we’ve seen anywhere, globally inspired but deeply rooted in the minimalist ethos and diverse natural surroundings of life in Japan. They also run an event space, SuperDeluxe, where they invite young designers to think, drink, collaborate, make noise, eat food, share big ideas, and network their little hearts out — and where, way back in 2003, Pecha Kucha was born.
In the hands of the 99% of us for whom public speaking isn’t a life calling, having to present an idea — no matter how jaw-droppingly awesome it actually is — to a room full of people is a particular kind of hell. And watching someone else bury their own great idea under rambling departures from the point and yawn-inducing over-explanations is just as bad — unless you’re hard-pressed for a nap, probably worse. But Klein and Dytham hit the sweet spot, challenging presenters to distill a message into 20 slides, showing each for 20 seconds. In six minutes and forty seconds, you can really only do so much damage — and as it turns out, it’s led to some of the most powerful and profoundly moving storytelling sessions we’ve had the pleasure of witnessing. Tonight, The Cleaners acts as the Portland headquarters of Pecha Kucha Global Night, alongside about 100 other cities hosting similar events. Starting at 7pm, it’s free and open to the public — true to spirit.

By day, Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham run Tokyo’s Klein-Dytham Architecture — turning inspiration sparked from the convergence of their myriad global influences (she was born in Italy to German parents, schooled in France, and educated in Britain, where the pair met before moving east in 1988) into building-sized testaments to their creative prowess. They just so happen to have designed our new happy place in Tokyo, Daikanyama T-Site, pictured here. By night, Astrid and Mark foster the global movement known as Pecha Kucha. This isn’t the duo’s first stroke of brilliance — Klein-Dytham designs some of the prettiest buildings we’ve seen anywhere, globally inspired but deeply rooted in the minimalist ethos and diverse natural surroundings of life in Japan. They also run an event space, SuperDeluxe, where they invite young designers to think, drink, collaborate, make noise, eat food, share big ideas, and network their little hearts out — and where, way back in 2003, Pecha Kucha was born.

In the hands of the 99% of us for whom public speaking isn’t a life calling, having to present an idea — no matter how jaw-droppingly awesome it actually is — to a room full of people is a particular kind of hell. And watching someone else bury their own great idea under rambling departures from the point and yawn-inducing over-explanations is just as bad — unless you’re hard-pressed for a nap, probably worse. But Klein and Dytham hit the sweet spot, challenging presenters to distill a message into 20 slides, showing each for 20 seconds. In six minutes and forty seconds, you can really only do so much damage — and as it turns out, it’s led to some of the most powerful and profoundly moving storytelling sessions we’ve had the pleasure of witnessing. Tonight, The Cleaners acts as the Portland headquarters of Pecha Kucha Global Night, alongside about 100 other cities hosting similar events. Starting at 7pm, it’s free and open to the public — true to spirit.


TBA INTERVIEW : KATHLEEN HANNA of THE JULIE RUIN
Kathleen Hanna is the fairy godmother of punk feminism. When she started Bikini Kill in the 90s she started a unquenchable fire in every girl’s heart that burned through the brush to a clear place where girls could see each other and themselves more clearly. How other people saw them — who gives a shit. Kathleen is now back on stages and on tour with the second incarnation of her group The Julie Ruin, and they’re bringing their irreverent and joyful noise to the opening ceremony for PICA’s TBA Festival this Thursday. Here, an excerpt from NPR Music's Jacki Lyden interview with the woman in question.

Girls like us like cotton candy, plastic handbags, alcohol. Girls like us sometimes ignore people on the street, even other people that we know. Girls like us sneak breaks at Wendy’s and girls like us invented jazz. Girls like us have no foundations, creation myths are so passé. Girls like us.

Tell me a little bit about how this song came to be. What’s going on here?
You tell me. The lyrics are really kind of random. It’s like, girls like us eat salt for breakfast, girls like us stand back to back. They’re kind of an anthem for the people who there is no anthem for. You know, it’s meant to be kind of a tongue-in-cheek thing of like, we’re all different. I thought that song was a really playful way to say there is no girl like us. You know what I mean? There’s just as many different kinds of feminism as there are women in the world.
You were forced to take a long time out; this is your first album in nine years. People were wondering what had happened. And recently, it came to light that you were suffering very seriously from an undiagnosed illness. Would you tell me more about that?
Yeah, I have late-stage Lyme disease. And I still, you know, have good days, bad days, good weeks, bad weeks. And I’m still in long-term treatment. It’s been a tough nine years. And I didn’t think that I would ever be performing again. And that was a very bitter pill to swallow along with the other 84 pills I take every day, ha.
Are you on good terms with the woman who started Bikini Kill?
I think I am now. I’ve kind of made peace with the mistakes that I’ve made and also feeling proud of what I’ve made. I think that people who are involved in community activism, it’s like, don’t stand out. We’re all equal, you know, especially if you come from a punk rock background that’s anti-hierarchy. And I always had this thing of, like, don’t be a leader. And I think that fed into me not being able to say: Hey, wait. That was really cool what I did.
I had to, you know, downplay the interesting things that I had made, kind of even to myself. And I’m still as pissed off as ever before. I think I’m just a little bit more directed. I have a better direction for my anger. It’s less kind of loosey-goosey all over the place. And I’m more apt to look at a larger world view than just, you know, what’s going on inside my apartment building. And now I think both the 21-year-old and the 41-year-old are pretty happy with each other…

TBA INTERVIEW : KATHLEEN HANNA of THE JULIE RUIN

Kathleen Hanna is the fairy godmother of punk feminism. When she started Bikini Kill in the 90s she started a unquenchable fire in every girl’s heart that burned through the brush to a clear place where girls could see each other and themselves more clearly. How other people saw them — who gives a shit. Kathleen is now back on stages and on tour with the second incarnation of her group The Julie Ruin, and they’re bringing their irreverent and joyful noise to the opening ceremony for PICA’s TBA Festival this Thursday. Here, an excerpt from NPR Music's Jacki Lyden interview with the woman in question.

Girls like us like cotton candy, plastic handbags, alcohol. Girls like us sometimes ignore people on the street, even other people that we know. Girls like us sneak breaks at Wendy’s and girls like us invented jazz. Girls like us have no foundations, creation myths are so passé. Girls like us.

Tell me a little bit about how this song came to be. What’s going on here?

You tell me. The lyrics are really kind of random. It’s like, girls like us eat salt for breakfast, girls like us stand back to back. They’re kind of an anthem for the people who there is no anthem for. You know, it’s meant to be kind of a tongue-in-cheek thing of like, we’re all different. I thought that song was a really playful way to say there is no girl like us. You know what I mean? There’s just as many different kinds of feminism as there are women in the world.

You were forced to take a long time out; this is your first album in nine years. People were wondering what had happened. And recently, it came to light that you were suffering very seriously from an undiagnosed illness. Would you tell me more about that?

Yeah, I have late-stage Lyme disease. And I still, you know, have good days, bad days, good weeks, bad weeks. And I’m still in long-term treatment. It’s been a tough nine years. And I didn’t think that I would ever be performing again. And that was a very bitter pill to swallow along with the other 84 pills I take every day, ha.

Are you on good terms with the woman who started Bikini Kill?

I think I am now. I’ve kind of made peace with the mistakes that I’ve made and also feeling proud of what I’ve made. I think that people who are involved in community activism, it’s like, don’t stand out. We’re all equal, you know, especially if you come from a punk rock background that’s anti-hierarchy. And I always had this thing of, like, don’t be a leader. And I think that fed into me not being able to say: Hey, wait. That was really cool what I did.

I had to, you know, downplay the interesting things that I had made, kind of even to myself. And I’m still as pissed off as ever before. I think I’m just a little bit more directed. I have a better direction for my anger. It’s less kind of loosey-goosey all over the place. And I’m more apt to look at a larger world view than just, you know, what’s going on inside my apartment building. And now I think both the 21-year-old and the 41-year-old are pretty happy with each other…


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