Nelly Ben Hayoun
Director and Experience Designer
Ben Hayoun is an award-winning director who designs experiences enabling you to become an astronaut in the living room, generate dark energy from pigeons eggs in the kitchen and collide atoms in the bathroom, while a replica of mount St Helen’s is erupting on the couch… She is known as the “Willy Wonka of Design and Science’, exhibiting, speaking and performing worldwide such as in Design Indaba in Cape Town, South Africa or the first Beijing International Design Triennial, China. She is the creator and director of the International Space Orchestra in NASA Ames Research Center, the world first orchestra composed of scientists from NASA Ames Research Center, Singularity University and the SETI Institute.
If you don’t find her in NASA Ames Research Center, or by the reactor 4 in Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, you might have to look 100m bellow ground where protons collide at the CMS detector, Large Hadron Collider, in Geneva. Or…she might well be on board of the Soyuz rocket in Baikonur Cosmodrome (Kazakhstan), or in Iceland or… going faster than the speed of light in the neutrino Observatory Super K in Japan… Do keep looking…
For previous projects, she worked with the cosmonaut Jean Pierre Haignere, (who advised her on the development of the Soyuz Chair which simulates the three stage launch of the Russian Soyuz rocket while in your living room), scientists at NASA, particle physicists at CERN(where she was granted complete access, including to the CMS detector chamber 100m below ground) to develop Dark Energy in her kitchen sink , as well as working with volcanologists ( to develop a living room volcano), paleontologists, sociologists, biologists … Ben Hayoun thinks that design must be engaged and therefore she is particularly interested in questioning its set up. Part of her design practice involves performances. She is intrigued by the close link between design and theatre/drama. For her, designing experiences is very similar to theatre and commedia dell’arte.
Ben Hayoun is a visiting professor at the Architectural Association, Unknown Fields Division, she is lecturing at Central St Martins (MA Textile Futures), the Royal College of Art (MA Design Products, Innovation Design Engineering and Architecture), Goldsmith University (BA Design Products), London and ENSAAMA Olivier de Serres –College of Art and Design in Paris.
She is currently a PhD candidate writing on social power structure in scientifically built environment & Design Fiction at Royal Holloway, University of London, Geography department.
Her work featured in press worldwide, see a selection here
For general enquiries please contact : hello [@ ] nellyben.com
For project enquiries, interviews, new production, Please contact Maria Ines Chevallier: maria.nellybenhayounstudio [@ ] gmail.com
Nelly Ben Hayoun’s unimitable Jumpsuits are designed and sponsored by Ruby Rocks Ltd , Contact Jenny modoagency [@ ] onetel.com
See a selected list of Nelly Ben Hayoun studio ‘s Clients/Collaborators and Partners here
“Well, folks… there are people who are pretty into design, and then there are designers who are like a force of nature.”
Bruce Sterling — Science Fiction author
” She will make a great astronaut”
Dr. Jacob Cohen, Chief Scientist, NASA Ames Research Center
“Rather than following the path of most designers by trying to build a better, more productive and efficient world, what is interesting about Nelly’s work is that it introduces disorder and chaos.”
Anna Bates — editor at Icon Magazine
“Thrilling, creative, passionate, these are just some of the terms that could be used to describe the work of Nelly Ben Hayoun”
“She is out of this world in her thought processes and actions. She would be a valuable addition to the astronaut corp that would surely energize our exploration of the solar system”
John W.Boyd, Senior Advisor to the Center Director of NASA Ames, Senior Advisor for History and the Center Ombuds, NASA Ames Research Center
‘A manufacturer of (hyper)reality’
Jamie Drew, Researcher and Science Manager NASA Ames Research Center