"My mum only recently started to understand what I do" says Nelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian. Interview with Tom Ravenscroft at Dezeen

Interview with Dezeen, June 3rd 2024

Read the interview here on Dezeen. words by Tom Ravenscroft

Experience designer Nelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian enjoys the fact that people find it hard to pin down exactly what she does and believes others should embrace her "non-linear" approach, she tells Dezeen in this interview.

"I love people not fucking understanding what I do," Ben Hayoun-Stépanian told Dezeen. "Bottom line is, they don't understand what I do. But I do a lot."

Ben Hayoun-Stépanian, who describes herself as a "designer of experiences", has created projects for extremely well-known organisations including NASA, Porsche, Lego, IKEA and Nike as well as running the Tour de Moon touring festival as part of the UK's high-profile Unboxed festival.

"I'm a designer of experiences"

With the experiences she designs, Ben Hayoun-Stépanian hopes to make people consider the world around them.

"I'm a designer of experiences, which basically means that I design volcanoes in people's living rooms, lift-off chair inside your lounge or make dark energy in your kitchen sink," she explained.

"So I'm very much interested in this idea of extreme: what does it mean to make people feel something at a point in time where, you know, we don't know how to think critically about the world that's around us?"

"And so for me, experiences are a good way of getting members of the public to critically reflect on some of the big topics, big ideas that we are confronted with today, whether it's in politics, sociology, and so forth."