Getting Lost with Julian Slawinski Knight of Lost Lectures
9 November 2018
Let’s face it, it’s 2018, our attention spans are short, and there’s literally an infinite amount of content going around. So when faced with the challenge of re-packaging the lecture format in a new and novel way, Julian Slawinski-Knight changed the game with The Lost Lectures.
The Lost Lectures is an underground series of events that remove the corporate stigma around lectures, and injects a much-needed dose of excitement. Reinventing the experience of experiential learning, and making new ideas literally stand out from the crowd. Hosting lectures in some truly extraordinary spaces including, the Ally Pally Theatre (revived after 72 years of closure), Lost Berlin, and even hosting a lecture over 300 precariously inflated inflatables. In conversation with Julian, we chat about his favourite places to get lost in, and a few recommendations of places where we can lose ourselves to the less ordinary. 
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. What was the Eureka moment that inspired Lost Lectures?
While I have a science background, I work in the creative industries. I've always been fascinated with new ideas; and I wanted to create an experience that served a generation who don't want ideas wrapped in a corporate banner! Lost Lectures was born out of a need to present ideas in a social, creative, and imaginative way. To be a source of inspiration for people who want more from an evening out, value new experiences, and want to discover new corners of their city. 
Lost Lectures is all about reimagining the lecture format, and bringing people together in some truly incredible locations. In what ways do you push the boundaries and try to be ‘less ordinary’ with what you do/your company does? 
We are fiercely experimental as a business; and so we are lucky that our guests are both understanding (and forgiving)! We had 300 people sat on inflatable rubber rings in a lighthouse  once (these would pop throughout the show), it was very silly and a lot of fun. We were the first to access Ally Pally Theatre after more than 72 years of closure; that was huge for us and a tough act to follow.
What do you love most about London? Is there anything in the city that motivates your creativity? 
Strangely, it’s the parks. I love to walk and think. I'm a bit of an anxiety bunny so having leaves, trees, grass, nature, and being on the move really help me clear my mind and focus. 
Who, what or where is grabbing your attention in London right now?  Who are the ‘less ordinary’ people, ideas, places, and experiences in town that you think deserve a shout?
EartH in Dalston is an absolutely incredible project. It's located in an old abandoned art-deco theatre, that is being brought back from closure. Where music venues are closing down constantly (30% in the last 15years I believe), having this type of facility opening, and with a capacity of 2000 seats, in East London is a huge deal, and really great for the community. 

Primeur
What trusted ‘less ordinary’ place in London do you find yourself going back to time and time again? 
I am a creature of comfort. My local, George and Monkey is a fave on Amwell Street and Indian Veg on Chapel Market is great for a cheap, guilt free munch. Both in the Angel area.
What are your ‘less ordinary’ hidden gems in London (places to sleep, eat, drink, hang) Why do you think it’s special? 
I love Primeur in Stoke Newington. It has amazing food and such a beautiful vibe inside.  Haringey Warehouse district is the quintessential pre-developer area where artists mix with locals. It's an exiting creative district that reminds me of Hackney Wick about 10 years ago. New River Studios is worth a visit on a Friday night, even just to see where the night takes you. Another area I'm fascinated with is Silvertown. It's industrial, messy, and there's tons of space still available; so I’m very excited to see how it evolves over the next few years. 
Story, Stockholm
Makers Hotel, Seoul
Which ‘less ordinary’ B&Bs, hotels or apartments have you discovered and fell in love with in other cities you travel to?
STORY in Stockholm and MAKERS HOTEL in Seoul.
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Interview by Hannah Tan-Gillies

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