About the studio

Our ethos & Team

Brands & Clients

ARE YOU READY TO MAKE THE IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE?

ARE YOU READY FOR RADICAL IMAGINATION?

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Known for disrupting systems and sparking radical imagination, Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios is a multidisciplinary studio supporting youth countercultures, experimental practices and pluralistic futures. We design and devise subversive multifaceted and meaningful events and experiences; a multiverse of projects at all scale.

We work to manufacture the impossible and look for new possibilities in everything we do on earth and beyond.

We work independently and with institutions, brands, partners and international collaborators to create unforgettable experiences and new ways of thinking, dreaming and doing. Our clients includes NASA, Mattel, LEGO, AirBnB, WeTransfer, IKEA, BMW, Converse, Autodesk, Amazon Music, Moog instruments, Red Bull, Apple, and many more.

Our Services

Our services include innovative thinking and all scales of production that unlocks new possibilities, including but not limited to: 

About Us

Founded in 2009, Nelly Ben Hayoun- Stépanian 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. We are an interdisciplinary design studio which devises subversive events, experiences, and feature-length films. We 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. We are pioneers in the design of experiences, our mission being to reveal meanings and power structures through experiential practices and to foster critical thinking within institutions across the world. We have consulted and worked with leading scientists, creatives, writers, brands, politicians, policymakers, musicians, and engineers worldwide and we have a track record of having successfully challenged public engagement mechanics through theatrical, experiential, and design practices. We rethink and question systems in education, design, distribution, communication, public speaking, politics, economics, history, and sociology towards further pluralistic models which we implement in our projects. Our team of architects, graphic designers, textile designers, philosophers and more are based in an artist collective in a train carriage on top of one of the oldest independent nightclub of the UK. Plurality is one of our core tenets, and as a result, we support the training of youths through the University of the Underground, a tuition-free charity we 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. as 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”. In 2023, Design Week awards Nelly Ben Hayoun- Stépanian with their hall of fame lifetime achievement award which acknowledges 'the achievements of designers and industry figures who have made a significant impact and contribution to the industry and have provided inspiration with incisive thinking.'

We work independently and with forward-thinking brands and innovation studios, notable collaborations include clients such as: Porsche, NASA, The European Space Agency, Mattel Inc. HQ, Lego HQ, Amazon Music, McSweeneys, Unilever, Gaité Lyrique, 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, NIKE, and the American Institute for Graphic Arts (AIGA).

We believe that nothing is impossible on earth and beyond.

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

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At Nelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian Studios, we have an ethos that enables collaboration and participation with our clients, staff and consultants. As pioneers in the Design of Experiences, we promote the value of experiential design practices, analytical and critical thinking in public engagement. We want to win work on the strength and quality of our practice and projects, as well as the merit of our design and knowledge.

Dr. Ben Hayoun-Stépanian defines the Design of Experiences as extending the discipline of design in terms of scope, scale and method of engagement combining architecture, installations, environments, social systems and scenarios. As a multidisciplinary design practice, the Design of Experiences support the performance of politics, long term thinking and innovation in public engagement through the use of events (music, film, design, semiotics) in institutions.

We propose an innovative formula for truly immersive and meaningful experiences – a collaborative, multilayered, extreme and holistic approach which is ultimately accessible to the wider public. We like to be radical and specific in our methods of engagement, making full use of academic research together with theatrical and musical practices. We tailor our outcomes to the targeted audience, however we like to surprise and therefore we always develop experiences in the unexpected. We truly work across different mediums including digital, film, design, music and experiences. Our experiential design projects are planned as platforms, with one narrative being told through multiple channels. Through our bold cooperative approach, we like to rethink the role of the designer as an instigator, a connector, an author, a social sculptor, an explorer, a mythologist and a provocateur.

Under Dr. Ben Hayoun-Stépanian’s leadership, we have established ourselves with a successful track record of delivering complex and often ‘impossible’ productions and we are the only design studio which integrates critical design, theatrical practices and multiplatform immersive experiences.

Team 

Our team is composed of multidisciplinary experts, it grows in line with our productions.

Nelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian Ph.D (She/ They)

Founder, Designer of Experiences and Filmmaker

Victoria Adams (She/ Her)

Assistant director and Head of Production

Amina S. Ferley Yael (She/ They)

Creative Coordinator and admin support

Coralie Ayala (She/ Her)

Social Media Manager and community engagement coordinator

Manana Kobakhidze (She/Her)

Graphic designer and digital artist

Fiona Braillon (She/ Her)

NBH Studio Director of Photography

We work independently and with institutions, brands, partners and international collaborators to create unforgettable experiences and new ways of thinking, dreaming and doing.

View our case studies 

  • NASA, USA
  • SETI Institute, USA
  • International Astronautical Federation
  • United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs
  • We Transfer, NL and USA
  • BMW/Mini
  • Converse/ Nike
  • Porsche
  • Soho House
  • KIA
  • British Film Institute
  • Google HQ
  • Autodesk, HQ
  • Mattel HQ
  • Lego HQ
  • MET (Metropolitan Museum), NYC, USA
  • XL Recordings, UK
  • BBC, UK
  • Mailchimp, USA
  • The Guardian, UK
  • Mc Sweeneys publisher, USA
  • Ed Banger Records, FRANCE
  • Nesta, UK
  • WIRED Magazine, UK
  • La Gaité Lyrique, France
  • Design Council, INDIA
  • Victoria and Albert Museum, V&A, UK
  • British Council, UK
  • Z33, House for Contemporary Arts, BELGIUM
  • Science and Technology Facility Council, UK
  • Institute of Physics, UK
  • Apple HQ, USA
  • AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts), USA
  • The Next Web, NL
  • International Film Festival Rotterdam, NL
  • CPH DOX, COPENHAGEN
  • Icelandic Design Center, ICELAND
  • Unilever, UK
  • Royal Geographical Society, UK
  • Design Indaba Festival, SOUTH AFRICA
  • Science Gallery, IRELAND
  • Wellcome Trust London, UK
  • Science Museum, London, UK
  • AND festival, UK
  • Maywa Denki, JAPAN
  • International Design Biennial, St Etienne, FRANCE
  • It’s Nice That, UK
  • Palais de Tokyo-Paris, FRANCE
  • Microsoft Research Laboratory, UK
  • NHK , JAPAN
  • Pop Up Magazine, USA
  • Arts Council, UK
  • Serpentine Gallery, UK
  • MU-Eindhoven, NL
  • Red Bull, UK
  • International Space University, France
  • New School, NYC, USA
  • Sandberg Instituut, Amsterdam, NL
  • Central Saint Martins-University of the Arts London, UK
  • Architectural Association, London, UK
  • Royal College of Art, London, UK
  • Goldsmith University- London, UK
  • Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Appliqués Estienne, Boule, Duperré, Paris, FRANCE
  • Dundalk Institute of Technology, IRELAND
  • Westminster University- London, UK
  • Kingston University-Kingston, UK
  • Queen Mary University, Physics Department, London, UK
  • Imperial College-London, UK
  • Tama University, JAPAN
  • Tsinghua University- Beijing, CHINA
  • Arts Academy, Split, CROATIA
  • Paris Design Week
  • Sofia Design Week, BULGARIA
  • London Design Week, UK
  • Domus Web and Magazine
  • Blueprint Magazine
  • National Museum of China, CHINA
  • Beijing International Trinniale, CHINA
  • V2 Institute for Unstable Media, NL