Disaster Playground Production Week 5

Nelly Ben Hayoun Studio nellyben.com

Disaster Playground Production Week 5


Disaster Playground is a creative platform investigating the design of emergency procedures in the space programme, with world renowned space experts at NASA, the SETI Institute and an all star team of composers, writers and international collaborators.

Disaster Playground Crew

Photography by Nick Ballon

After witnessing first responders in asteroid disaster simulation, it was time to move on to the East coast.  We spent all week end "on location" at Disaster City and headed out of town. We then landed in Boston. How nice it was to be away from the heat and humidity, only to find that we had flown right into a cold, rainy storm on the East coast .
Last production week, two more cities; five more scientists and a bunch of worms, nematodes, Caenorhabditis elegans. Our first stop in Boston, was at the Minor Planet Center (MPC), where Dr. José Luis Galaché and Dr. Gareth Williams showed us around the Center.  Located at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the MPC is the official body that deals with astrometric observations and orbits of minor planets (asteroids, natural satellites) and comets. They receive observations from all over the world, process and catalog them, then make them available via their public database. The MPC is a critical resource for the asteroid hunters of the world.
From Cambridge to a research lab at Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital to meet our worms -- and Dr. Gary Rufkun.  Dr. Rufkun shared  their research of c. elegans and their ability to survive. These crops survived the Columbia space shuttle disaster.
We ended our tour in Washington DC, where we set up office at 601 Pennsylvania Ave, overlooking the Capitol. In the morning we met with Dr. Dan Mazanek, who shared with us an alternative approach to redirecting asteroids and the NASA Asteroid Redirect Mission. At mid-day we spoke with Dr. Sergio Camacho-Lara, former Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, to learn the geopolitics in place to deal with Asteroid impacts.
Our final interview was with Colonel Lindley Johnson, NASA HQ Near Earth Object Observation Program Executive.
Nelly also tried to interview President Obama… For this part of the story… well you will have to wait and see the Disaster Playground film!
Now the filming is completed and Director Nelly Ben Hayoun returned to California to record the sound track by Punk Electro-rock band The Prodigy, to be performed by the International Space Orchestra.
She then left for Amsterdam at What Design Can Do where she was speaking.

All the way to the stars,
Yours Sincerely,
Annette Rodrigues, Disaster Playground Project Manager and retired Payload Crew (Astronaut) Trainer.

P.S. End of the expedition for me for now, but I will be training Nelly for the Astronaut Corp in August! So expect more!

Talks / Papers

Crafting critical geographies: The Design of Experiences

27th August 2014 Royal Geographical Society Annual International Conference 2014, London

Disaster Playground; Combining Homo Fabers, Homo Ludicus and Animal Laborans in Techno-Catastrophe

28th August 2014 Royal Geographical Society Annual International Conference 2014, London

Planetary Defense and the Design of Experiences at the SETI Institute. A Case-Study: Disaster Playground

29 September - 3 October 2014, 65th International Astronautical Congress, Toronto, Canada


Coming Soon 

May 24 – August 2, 2014

Bureau Europa, Maastricht, NL

Disaster Playground at V&A Digital Week End

20 - 21 September, 2014

V&A (Victoria and Albert) Museum, London

Future Fictions

October 5 – December 31, 2014
Z33, Hasselt, Belgium