8/30/10 - EPIC Conference (Day 1)

First day of the EPIC conference (http://www.epiconference.com/epic2010/).  Some interesting presentations.  The opening speaker was Japanese designer Kenya Hara, who spoke on “Emptiness – the prime image of Japanese communication.”  I loved his idea that emptiness is a space with the potential to be filled by the imagination.

In the afternoon, there was a “pecha kucha” session.  This is a format in which each speaker is allowed to show 20 PowerPoint slides for 20 seconds each.  I had never seen such a session, and was intrigued to see how presenters might use the format.  The presentation that stood out was Elizabeth Anderson-Kempe’s.  She told a simple story of her personal/professional journey. It almost became a zen poem – she had great images, and just the right amount of words for each slide.  

The theme of the conference was “the dō of ethnography.”  “Dō captures the sense of individual mastery that is achieved only with the help of a community and its rich heritage. Dō implies a body of knowledge and tradition with an ethic and an aesthetic. Dō is the "path" we have travelled and also the way ahead of us” (http://www.epiconference.com/epic2010/about).

In the evening, conference participants chose one of eight forms of mastery/dō to observe.  I chose kadō, the art of flower arranging.  Members of the Fujitsu kadō club demonstrated their art for my group.  I was fascinated and had many questions.