As everyone already mentioned, one presentation really jumped out: professor Jean Paul van Bendegem with his presentation “Wunderkammer”. It started with the painting “The origin of the world” by Gustave Courbet, which is essentially a frontal view of the crotch of a naked woman, which of course is a good way to catch the audience’s attention.
He then started free associating via freemasonry, over the Sherlock Holmes society, over women’s bottoms, the painting of the nude woman in court (I forget the details) and ended with the painting of a man’s crotch called “The origin of war”. There was no real message, but the voyage was vivid and entertaining.
From the other speeches, I remember the BioMODD, a (game server) computer designed by Angelo Vermeulen as a living organism (with algae and fish in the cooling system), Jan Vandenbergh’s fascination with the number ‘8’ and a removable park designed as a huge carpet of artificial grass. The rest was less interesting to quite simply boring.
I must say I like the Pecha Kucha formula, however. 20 slides of 20 seconds each makes for a turbo-speech of 6’40”. It can be brilliant, but in cases where it isn’t, the end is probably less than 5 minutes away. The Brussels edition had a lot of architecture speakers, which is not surprising when you consider the concept was created by people from an architecteral bureau in Tokyo, but still, some more variation would have been nice. Overall, the organiser Alok Nandi did a good job. I think I will go to #3.