Pecha Kucha means “chit chat” in Japanese. It’s a creative storytelling presentation format in which 20 chosen images are shown for 20 seconds each. In other words, you’ve got just under 7 minutes to tell your story, with visuals guiding the way. This creative outlet began as nighttime get-togethers in Tokyo in 2003 by two renowned architects. Since then, three million people have attended Pecha Kucha events worldwide.  

Pecha Kucha Ottawa Manifesto on “Creative City-Making” is at the end of this post.

Hello everyone, it’s a pleasure to be here. Marvelous evening, isn’t it?

Tonight I am sharing with you some of my favourite topics: beauty, harmony, design, and how they apply to Community.

I’ll also share some of my own stories and discoveries along the way.

I was the daughter of a diplomat from a very young age. We travelled around the world and I was exposed to many beautiful places, people and interpretations of harmony.  

Keenly aware of abundance and of lack I experienced great excitement and deep grief.

From a young age, I began to question what made people truly happy -?

What makes us tick? How is it related to our culture?

How do our theological beliefs affect our happiness?

I took great pleasure and inspiration seeing their many expressions in numerous types of arts/crafts. I also started to sense and experience how their beliefs played a role in their relationships ~ With themselves and others.

In my late teens I began to wonder about the validity of “God” – Remember Philosophy 101? 

I began exploring the different interpretations of the Divine and how this affected us.  

I studied psychology and then interior design – Basically learning how space can be harmonious to support us and sustain us.  How to balance aesthetics with technology; the right brain and the left brain.

My first career, as a lighting designer, peaked a few years ago with the lighting the sculpture ‘Maman’ – Louise Bourgeois’ large spider – the spider is a beautiful symbolic weaver (in fact her mother was a weaver).  So I got to explore light & shadow literally and metaphorically.

Creativity and the creative process design captivated me and I began to see how this process is universal.

I also saw how the creative process could be applied to many types of creations, be it gardening, cooking or shaping our own lives.

Over the years, especially after burnout, 20 years ago, it became clear that artistic expression was a potent source of healing for me.  I started studying yoga – and just as yoga incorporates in its teachings, I found healing even more powerful when combining body, mind, spirit.


My appreciation for natures’ gazillion designs deepened.  And I found solace when immersed in her constructions, her cathedrals, and especially her flowers. If I was a fairy I would sleep in them.

With amazement, and a “haha – this makes sense” attitude I got quite interested in biomimicry ~ how nature’s brilliant “designs” can teach us how to design sustainable fabrics, systems, and architecture and so many other things.

I went on to discover concepts about proportions, beauty and harmony that totally amazed me.  And as I relearned the golden proportion concepts I began to see it everywhere, within us and without.

Then I came upon sacred geometry – which mathematically contains the golden ratio and from which all 5 platonic solids (in other words, all shapes) emerge from this matrix.

The flower of life is truly amazing – it is a pure expression of the golden proportions. 


Also known as the Fibonacci series, these proportions exist everywhere. From the cellular level to how sound and light travel, from our own body proportions to that of galaxies.  

Incredible isn’t it?  Fantastic! Yes!

This, and and then quantum physics, showed me that we are all connected to each other and to all that is living. 

We are ONE, and all that we are affects one another. NOW that is fantastic, no?


So, about 12 years ago I started teaching the creative process. Through creative workshops, I share how we can access our innate harmony or innate wisdom. 

Some people call it their inspiration, or Source, or Universal Mind, and many names describing the Devine.

Last year I had a wonderful opportunity to teach and to coordinate over 20 facilitators at SpiritArt Studio.

I also take an active part in two organizations: The Arts Health Network and The Association for Spirituality and Mental Health, at the Royal Ottawa.

I have come to the conclusion that we must integrate body/mind/spirit in order to bring about the peace and harmony we seek individually and collectively.  

This way is the most harmonious, effective, fruitful, and sustainable way I know to create.

Now, some might think of this as airy-fairy!  Joseph Jaworski is proof it isn’t – he works with multi-nationals with these holistic concepts (yes, spirit, which he calls Source, included!).

Truly coCreating, he has founded national and global leadership forums:  Projects with tangible, financial, and emotional benefits for the common good.


Inspired by such world-class leaders I hope to continue coCreating in multiple ways, with great collaborators on meaningful projects. 

I love being a capital C-Creative and believe in the power of transforming spaces from the inside out.

Thank you all.

On the eve of the re-launch of the global Pecha Kucha series in Ottawa on March 27th, 2012, we are excited about what these events represent for the creative flourishing of our city.  The concept of “creative city” is especially in vogue these days as cities around the world look to re-invent themselves in response to unrelenting economic, social and environmental forces.

When we speak of city-building it is often couched in the language used by urban planners, developers and the host of institutional bodies governing the design and construction of the built environment.  We need to drag out the old thinking about “city-building” from a land-use urban engineering (top-down, centrally-planned) perspective to one that’s inclusive of creative “city-making” distinguished as ground-level, organic, and surprisingly self-organized.

Pecha Kucha is about a new way to look at our city’s distinctiveness.   We see creativity (at least in terms of “city-making”) as broadly vested. In other words, it is not confined to the professions usually associated as “creative”.  Passionate creatives are present in all vocations and for a city to fully capitalize on its creative potential, it is critical that we embrace this broader and more inclusive view.

Thus our hope for Pecha Kucha Ottawa is that we provide a platform to:

– illuminate the work and ideas of our urban creatives and innovators; and
– amplify their ideas by connecting people with ideas, ideas with people

We hope you will join us on this journey and find inspiration to be part of the Ottawa creative community.

Regretfully, Pecha Kucha is no longer running in Ottawa. If that’s something you would like to take on, feel free to contact me; I can put you in touch with the  Pecha Kucha Ottawa founder, Luc Lalande.

To find out more about Pecha Kucha worldwide visit

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