From Tokyo to Aberdeen – PechaKucha comes to the Granite City

A globally-renowned event, which calls upon members of the public to talk creatively to pictures, is coming to Aberdeen for the first time.

Devised in Tokyo - PechaKucha Nights give participants 20 seconds to discuss 20 images of their choice.

Over 600 cities across the globe now host the nights which take a fast-paced and informal format, and aim to inspire ideas and thoughts on a diverse range of topics.

The University of Aberdeen is responsible for bringing the concept to the Granite City.

Perspective participants are being encouraged to register to become part of the series which will launch at the city’s annual TechFest in September festival.

Dr Heather Doran of the University’s Public Engagement with Research Unit said: “Pecha Kucha is Japanese for 'chit chat. The concept of these nights was originally devised by two architects, Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham, and the first event was held in 2003 in Toyko as a way for young designers to meet, network and show their work in public.

“The University of Aberdeen is proud to bring the PechaKucha network to the city, and we are looking forward to our first in the series of free events, which will feature a mix of speakers from the worlds of photography, art, research, music and much more. 

“We want to open up the floor and invite speakers for future PechaKucha nights, which will be held once a month until December. If you would like to speak at one of the evenings please get in touch with the Public Engagement with Research team at the University on 01224 273274 or by email at or visit

Dr Kenneth Skeldon of the Pubic Engagement Unit added: “The focused nature of the PechaKucha format encourages speakers to make their message clear, engaging and concise and therefore is an excellent way for University staff and students to enrich and refine presentation and communications skills.

“This adds to the growing number of opportunities we are creating for our staff, students and the general public to come together and engage with one another.”

The launch event takes place at 7pm on September 17 at the Aberdeen Arts Centre.

The event will feature Kevin MacKenzie from the University’s Institute of Medical Sciences who will share some of his award-winning microscopic images of plants and insects.

Kevin, who first became interested in photography while working in anatomy in the days pre-dating digital techniques commented: “I have been on the lookout for unusual specimens to capture under the microscope. With the advent of digital imaging, it has become much easier to enhance the final image."

Dr Alan Jamieson from the University’s Oceanlab facility will discuss and share images of some of the deep sea discoveries he has been involved in that have revolutionised thinking about life in oceans across the globe

Materials researcher Dr Maria Kashtalyan and chemical engineer Johannes Kiefer will also share insights into their work at the event.

PechaKucha Aberdeen is organised by the University of Aberdeen’s Public Engagement with Research Unit.

Four events will be held monthly until December linking to major initiatives and themes such as One World Week, Human Rights Day and the Festival of Social Science. All events are free to attend and take place at Aberdeen Arts Centre. 

Full details of the programme can be found at  and at the series Facebook page