What Design Can Do and The Life, The Sea and The Space Viking

What Design Can Do, September 2016, UK

Nelly Ben Hayoun discusses the launch of her latest project, The Life, The Sea and The Space Viking on What Design Can Do.

Nelly Ben Hayoun, the French experience designer who shook up WDCD 2014 with her energetic and imaginative presence, strikes again. Adding to her whimsical oeuvre a new film, called The Life, the Sea and the Space Viking, is due to be released in 2017.

Beginning in the deepest depths of a prehistoric sea, and ending in the outermost reaches of a distant solar system, the new production Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios is working on together with Dartmouth Films, ‘aims to unravel our “biological archaeology”, merging the fields of astrobiology, terraforming and the research of extremophiles.’


Three short trailers on the Space Viking website unveil another blend of artistic absurdism and scientific intelligence in this new film, announced as ‘A Space Odyssey and Viking Saga 11 km under the sea’. The film follows Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios’ latest feature film, Disaster Playground, which premiered at SXSW 2015. This film portrays scientists planning the monitoring and deflection of hazardous Near Earth Objects and the real-life procedures in place in the event of an asteroid collision with the earth.

For the new production Ben Hayoun works with Sigur Rós, the world renowned Icelandic post-rock band, and explorer and marine biologist dr. Sylvia A. Earle, founder of the Sylvia Earle Alliance (S.E.A.) / Mission Blue, and founder of Deep Ocean Exploration and Research Inc. (DOER). Her research concerns the ecology and conservation of marine ecosystems and the development of technology for access to the deep sea.


The Life, the Sea and the Space Viking promises to be ‘an expedition of uncharted territories, encompassing all scales of science, but also inspiring questions of humanity’s place in the universe.’ Exploring the science of space colonisation, the project features leading scientists at NASA and the SETI (Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence) Institute and documents a submersible expedition, as we learn from life on Earth, how to create life on another planet.

As part of the project the International Space Orchestra, the world’s first orchestra composed of space scientists founded by Ben Hayoun will perform as the supporting act to Sigur Rós at the Hollywood Bowl on 24th September 2016 in Los Angeles. To celebrate this extraordinary event Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios, Sigur Rós and the SETI Institute are running a competition to win one of 25 signed patches. To compete, you only need to leave your email at nellyben.com/competition.


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