Nelly Ben Hayoun will stir up WDCD 2014

march 2014, NL

10 Feb 2014 Published in Culture by Bas van Lier


This week Nelly Ben Hayoun is talking at Webstock in Wellington, New Zealand, but in May the maverick experience designer will take the stage at WDCD.

Nelly Ben Hayoun has been called the ‘Willy Wonka of design and science’ and she is on a mission to bring chaos, subversion and disorder to the design and the scientific world. Her aim is to give everyone the opportunity to experience the edges of our known universe, a realm that should not be reserved for scientists alone. Her studio is based in London, but the world is her working place.

As an experience designer Ben Hayoun works with leading scientists and engineers, to devise subversive events and experiences. Her most ambitious project to date is the International Space Orchestra (ISO), the world’s first orchestra of space scientists. The orchestra’s Ground-Control: An Opera in Space is being broadcast by two nanosatellites.

She is currently working on her new mega-project to investigate the design of emergency procedures in the space programme: Disaster Playground.

At the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute in California Ben Hayoun is the Designer of Experiences. She also is Head of Experiences at WeTransfer in the Netherlands (a WDCD partner, by the way).

Ben Hayoun is a Visiting Professor in the Unknown Fields Division at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, and a lecturer at Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art, both in London.

On top of that she ispreparing her PhD as a researcher in Human Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London. In her spare time – is there any? – she is training to be an astronaut.

Nelly Ben Hayoun received her bachelors degree in Fashion Design from Olivier de Serres National College of Art and Design in Paris and her masters degree in Design Interactions from the Royal College of Art in London. She is the recipient of many awards and is a frequent speaker at international gatherings, such as this week’s at Webstock, the conference that celebrates the web and its makers – ‘the creativity, the magic, the craft and everything in between.’