This month sees the smart Future minds exhibition open its doors at London’s Southbank Centre. The first time it has taken place in the UK, the scheme is a forward-looking one that shows carefully selected projects that make every day urban life more positive and sustainable., each from various areas of innovation; ‘a pop-up showcase for ideas and innovation that will shape lives in cities of the future'. Sound interesting? The categories include culture and society, design, architecture, science, media and IT, and mobility, and who should they choose to curate the media and IT area than, DJ and broadcaster, writer and former popstar Lauren Laverne? Heckers, even though she’s an established member of the Grazia team with her weekly cultural column we instantly agreed with the idea of an interview.
Grazia Daily: Hello there, Can you tell us a bit about the Future Minds Exhibition and your role in it . .
Lauren Laverne: It’s all to do with the future of the city – my part is people who are doing fresh and exciting film and radio projects. We each chose our favourite few projects to be in the free exhibition, and then later on there’ll be a winner! It’s so exciting to be able to talk to young people who are starting up their own innovations and projects about them and help nurture start-up projects in the UK media. There are some fantastic ones going on.
GD: You have had 17 careers – singer in a band, presenter, radio DJ author, presenter of the Culture Show and 10 ‘o clock Live AND Grazia columnist. Would you consider bringing out your own perfume or fashion line?
LL: Definitely not! Although it seems I’ve been involved in a lot of things, everything that I’ve done is coherent because of music. Everything goes back to my love of music really and if it’s not directly informed by music then it is still linked. It makes sense to me . . . since I’ve been grown up I’ve been broadcasting but that’s come out of the radio which is because of my time in the music biz.
GD: Have you got any career advice for us?
LL: I’ve been very lucky in what I do, but I try and do what I find interesting – so my tip is find job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life. So even when I’ve had a long day its never really like work – I love it and I can’t complain. I’d say you should follow what you’re interested in – a friend of mine became a lawyer, and even though it was very lucrative, she hated it. If you can find out what you like then do that.
GD: Tell us about your connection to British fashion also, can you tell us about any recent fashion purchase?
LL: Oooh yes, I like this question! I do I’m a big fan of Basso and Brooke support people coming through Eung Jong, TBA I mean, they’re not all British but I kind of think I wear what I like. Matthew Williamson is another, and Giles. Over my broadcasting career, people haven’t always understood what I’m trying to do –
GD: Well, TV isn’t really known for its high-fashion image, is it?
LL: Well quite. So I have had my outfits choices questioned or challenged and when that has happened I think to myself; would people be the same about a male presenter? No, they can wear what they like they are not judged on their clothes in that way. I don’t dress to order, I wear things I think are interesting.
GD: Do you work with a stylist, or how does it work?
LL: I have a lady called Alison Elwin, she’s brilliant. We always have loads of fun – she will come round to my house, fill the whole room full of clothes, then I’ll proceed to try them all on while doing a little dance in the mirror!
GD: Because we grew up in the ‘90’s and indie rock and Brit Pop has formed such a massive part of our consciousness, we can’t end without asking you about it. [Lauren’s first job was as the singer of all-girl indie band Kenickie]
Do you ever get together with a load of other people like Brett Anderson from Suede or Shirley Manson from Garbage for a ‘90’s indie school reunion? ‘coz we think that would make a brilliant party.
LL: Would like to say that I do, but it’s not true. I mean, not those guys in particular, although sometimes I see them at things, and have the greatest respect for them. I’m not really a retrospective person, I’m future focused, rather than nostalgic. Once when I interviewed Jarvis Cocker he told me that the past is a piece of scenery and we are all on a train sitting facing backwards. We can’t really make out that scenery out of the window until we a certain distance away from it, and we only make sense of things in retrospect. Of course Jarvis is a very metaphysical chap but I agree with him on that point. So now I am far away enough to think about it . . . but I don’t because I’m busy doing what I do now and that makes me happy.
[Pauses for a second] If I was to permit myself a moment of reflection, it’d be very nice to think that for a time we were part of a scene, but then again, that’s for other people to say not me and also, I’m all about what’s happening now, and what’s happening next.
GD: Lauren it as been an absolute pleasure to talk to you . . . Thank you very much indeed.
The Future Minds Exhibition is a unique, forward-thinking and free event for urbanites to enjoy in May and is a pop-up showcase for ideas and innovation that will shape lives in cities of the future. It is live for 2 weeks, hitting London’s Southbank from 3rd – 16th May 2011.
- Naomi Attwood