Porsche Taycan, No Passengers in collaboration with Soho House.

A visionary electric Porsche project that connects the real and virtual worlds

Read the full interview here

The No Passengers film series – a joint endeavour by Soho House and Porsche – highlights key creative visionaries who are leading the charge to push culture forward. For this series Nelly worked with 3D software experts on designing an alternative universe in which to drive an electric Porsche Taycan.

A decade spent working in the space industry saw Ben Hayoun-Stépanian direct a wide range of expeditions and programmes – such as the International Space Orchestra – both here on planet Earth and in space. She designed large-scale experiences, which included sending music to the moon and back as part of the nationwide festival Tour de Moon, and has founded free universities in nightclub basements with the University of the Underground in a bid to radically rethink a pluralistic universe. Ben Hayoun-Stépanian questions how things are made and how they can be developed in the next 100 years, from conceptualising an alternative world to building it with an industry-leading 3D artist in Unreal Engine. 

For No Passengers, she designed a fully electric Porsche Taycan with a fluorescent marbling pattern inspired by her textile training in Japan, which was guided by kimono master Takayuki Takahashi and his two brothers, with whom she worked on pattern designs for the late Issey Miyake. The grand finale sees Ben Hayoun-Stépanian driving her custom Porsche through the dusty surface of a 3D world of her own creation that has been inspired by former projects.

‘It has always been a dream of mine to consider what “perpetual motion” could be like, feel like or look like,’ she says of her response to the project. ‘Imagining the non-material textures of something that never slows or tires at the scale of the universe also presents us with our very own vulnerability and pushes us to reflect on our own human doings.’ 

No Passengers brings together Ben Hayoun-Stépanian’s experiences as a founder of experiences and platforms that support the creation of organised communities that build new beginnings informed by plurality, social and racial justice, solidarity and equity. While studying for her MA at the Royal College of Art, she developed an interest in theatre and filmmaking as well as space science – a combination which in turn led to the launch of her design agency, Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios, in 2009. 

‘With electric engineering, the new creative potentials are endless and I am very grateful to my partners in crime at Porsche and Soho House for giving me absolute carte blanche in this process,’ Ben Hayoun-Stépanian says. She credits both partners for ‘supporting my vision and for bringing such a talented diverse team together.’ 

‘For the final instalment of the No Passengers series, powered by Porsche, we were moving from the analogue and digital formats of the previous two films into the pinnacle of filmmaking technology and the ultra-digital world of virtual production,’ says Danny Chan, Head of Film & Motion at Soho House. ‘Dr Nelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian’s application of radical imagination and plurality into her practice as an experiential designer cements why she is the perfect collaborator for exploring a universe where the only limits are your imagination.’

Read the full interview here

Soho House Film Director: Danny Chan
Commissioner and soho house creative Director: Andrew Diprose
Brand Partnerships: Lucy Murphy and Delara Nikkhah
Editorial: Sagal Mohammed
Soho house chief of content: Jonathan Heaf

Studio: Nelly Ben Hayoun Stépanian Studio
Porsche Electric Tuycan Creative director and pattern: Nelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian
Studio management: Victoria Adams and Chloe Macary-Carney
Graphics: Manana Kobakhidze
Tour de Moon characters: Ben Wheel
Former projects in video: Nelly Ben Hayoun Stépanian Studio

EP: Ben Schneider
Producer: Ali Khalil
Production Manager: Kevin Cheung
Production Coordinator: Smera Kumar
Production Assistant: Peg McMillan
DOP: Anna Patarakina
1st AD: Tetyana Yablonska
1st AC: Deniz Yildiz
2nd AC: Catherine Hulme
Camera Trainee: Shreya Jha
Camera Trainee: Ant Belle
Gaffer: Leopold Nassens
DIT: Bryony Watson
Art Department: Sarah Asmail
Art Assistant: Jade Rache Lederer
Art Assistant: Harry Beedle
BTS Photographer: Naomi Ngoo Richmond
Editor: Annika & Merethe
VFX: Gramercy Park Studios
Post Executive Producer: Annika Gustavsson
Colourist: Megan Lee
2nd Unit DOP: Ria Griffin
Sound Op: Manon Peregrine-Lewis
HMU: Fiona Florczak
Runner: Mia Henderson
Runner: Clement Geller
Kit: Panavision
Music: Tom Burke
Sound Design: Jim Stewart , String and Tins

Territory Studio
EP – Sue Dhaliwal
VAD – Rick Hartley
Producer – Surhay Kilic

MARS Volume
EP – Rowan Pitts
Producer – Lauren Rodgers
VP Supervisor – Pete Dunsby
UNREAL op – Cameron Bishop

Supported by Panavision, Territory Studio, Mars Volume, Radical Media London.