Disaster City, Photo Nick Ballon, Copyright Disaster Playground

The Manufacturers of the Impossible

Founded in 2009, Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios Ltd. designs experiences for you to become an astronaut in your living room while dark energy is being created in your kitchen sink and a volcano erupts on your couch. They are an interdisciplinary design studio which devises subversive events, experiences, and feature-length films. They work on multimedia, highly ambitious projects to empower countercultures and communities by building platforms for them to challenge power structures, while also allowing for change and critical thinking through multi-faceted immersive experiences. They are pioneers in the design of experiences, their mission is to reveal meanings and power structures through experiential practices and to foster critical thinking within institutions across the world. They have consulted and worked with leading scientists, creatives, writers, brands, politicians, policymakers, musicians, and engineers worldwide and they have a track record of having successfully challenged public engagement mechanics through theatrical, experiential, and design practices. They rethink and question systems in education, design, distribution, communication, public speaking, politics, economics, history, and sociology towards further pluralistic models which we implement in their projects. The team of architects, graphic designers, textile designers, philosophers and more are based in an artist collective in a train carriage on top of a nightclub. Plurality is one of their core tenets and as a result they support the training of youths, through the University of the Underground, a tuition-free charity they founded in 2017 with board members such as Pussy Riot, Noam Chomsky, and Massive Attack; it supports free, pluralistic, and transnational education.

In 2020, Dezeen shortlisted Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios Ltd. one of the world’s best design studios and in 2021 The Dots selected Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios Ltd. as one of the “Top 50 companies to work for in 2021”.

People we are working with include: NASA, The European Space Agency, Singularity University, Mattel Inc. HQ, Lego HQ, Airbnb HQ, Google HQ, MINI, The Guardian,The SETI Institute, BBC, Red Bull, WeTransfer, Mailchimp, XL Recordings, Ed Banger Records, MOMA, Victoria and Albert Museum, National Museum of China, Nesta, The Design Council, Converse and the American Institute for Graphic Arts (AIGA).

We work on large scale, multi-media, multi-platform highly ambitious projects.

We believe that nothing is impossible on earth and beyond.

Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios’ work featured in press worldwide, see a selection here

Some of our projects’ websites:

“A Social Sculptor”

– Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Director of International Projects at the Serpentine Gallery

“As thrilling as watching a rocket launch”

– The Guardian

“If anyone can do it, Nelly can.”

– Icon Magazine

“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

” Nelly Ben Hayoun is a fusion between Andy Warhol and Albert Einstein.”

– Warp Magazine, Mexico

“Part designer, part performance artist, part space traveller, Nelly Ben Hayoun is an inexhaustible source of renewable energy that, if harnessed, could eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels. Indescribable.”

-Michael Beirut, partner at Pentagram and co-founder of Design Observer

“The person she most reminds me of is the pop star Björk: a bundle of barely contained energy, constantly making mental leaps in conversation – and prone to the most unlikely of artistic collaborations”

– Mark Hooper, chief editor, Hole and Corner Magazine, UK


– Wired Magazine

“Thrilling, creative, passionate, these are just some of the terms that could be used to describe the work of Nelly Ben Hayoun Studio”

– Design Indaba, South Africa

 ” She will make a great astronaut”

– Dr. Jacob Cohen, Chief Scientist,  NASA Ames Research Center, U.S.A

“Nelly is simply amazing. I’m still on a high from talking with her! The wealth of knowledge that she posses I love. Nelly is a  jolt of inspiration and inspiring energy. She is like a force of nature with a cool French accent.”

– Mattel, U.S. A