‘Nelly Ben Hayoun has been collecting a lot of titles over the course of her practice: ‘designer of experiences’, ‘manufacturer of the impossible’ , ‘the Willy Wonka of design and science’, ‘P.h.D.’, ‘award-winning director’, ‘critical explorer’ and ‘fearless and passionate provocateur’ 

Being born in France to a family with a history of survival from the Armenian genocide to an Algerian-born Jewish father, the London-based designer immediately accepted our suggestion of adding ‘Alien’ to her title. 

This nomad-turned explorer realized early on that her unusual upbringing in France and diverse family history have deeply influenced her own identity, her work and her way of fearlessly following her beliefs and instincts.

Faithful to her proudly worn ‘Willy Wonka’ title, Nelly weaves projects surrounding extremely complex topics and experiences, such as turning the impossible into possible with her experimental sci-fi project “Dark Energy in the Kitchen Sink”, by tackling uncomfortable sociological and political questions with her most recent film “I am (not) a monster” or simply by bringing some music to the most unexpected stages with “The International Space Orchestra”.

By Lisa H. Moura 

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Alien Magazine explores, twists and pushes the boundaries of the understanding of what an alien is. In a series of visual/written essays, interviews or investigative reports, it invites citizens, no matter their shape, size, color, profession, political party, creed, belief, nation, planet to rethink social norms and labels.