When Vicki Yuan invited me to present on butterflies to the San Antonio chapter of the American Architecture Foundation’s periodic Pecha Kucha Night event, I had no idea what a challenge it would be to frame the amazing story of the Monarch butterfly migration into 20 20-second slides.
That’s right. Twenty slides, each timed exactly to 20 seconds. That’s the strict format for Pecha Kucha, a program launched in Tokyo in 2003 for sharing people’s passions by two British architects. Pecha Kucha means “chit chat” in Japanese.
There’s so much to tell when you’re talking butterflies. Those who know me can attest to my tendencies to natter on about their charms. Convey a multi-generation, 3,000-mile migration made by creatures that weigh less than a gram and find their way “home” to a place they’ve never been–all in six minutes, 40 seconds?
If Monarch butterflies can complete such a journey, I should be able to share their story–and my own evolution as a butterfly evangelist–in under seven minutes. It was a great exercise in expository discipline. I hope you enjoy it.