Design has the power to intervene, engage and disrupt
Meet Dr. Nelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian. She runs “an interdisciplinary ‘Willy Wonka’ design studio which devises subversive meaningful events and experiences.” Michael Beirut, partner at Pentagram and co-founder of Design Observer, describes her as “part designer, part performance artist, part space traveller…[Nelly] is an inexhaustible source of renewable energy that, if harnessed, could eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels. Indescribable.”
Before starting her studio, Nelly received a BA in Textile Design at ENSAAMA Olivier De Serres (college of applied arts) in Paris and an MA with distinction from the Royal College of Arts in Design Interactions. She also holds a PhD in Geography (Human geography and political philosophy) from Royal Holloway.
If that isn’t enough, Nelly also assembled and directs the International Space Orchestra (ISO) — the world’s first orchestra of space scientists and astronauts from NASA and through this has collaborated with Grammy award-winning musicians such as Beck, Damon Albarn, Bobby Womack, The Prodigy, Penguin Café, Ed Banger Records, Savages and most recently Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or YouTube.
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Written by Linda McNair
The Interaction Design Association (IxDA) is a member-supported organization dedicated to the discipline of interaction design. Since its launch in 2003, IxDA has grown into a global network of more than 100,000 individuals and over 200 local groups, focusing on interaction design issues for the practitioner, no matter their level of experience.