Nelly Ben Hayoun

Nelly Ben Hayoun


Dubbed the 'Willy Wonka of Design and Science', award-winning feature-length director and designer Nelly Ben Hayoun is a critical explorer, a fearless and passionate provocateur.

A manufacturer of the impossible, she is known for designing extremes 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.

In 2014 Wired magazine awarded her with a WIRED Innovation Fellowship for her work to date and its 'significant impact on the world' whilst in 2013, Icon Magazine touted Ben Hayoun as one of the 50 international designers "shaping the future".

Finally in 2015, she was nominated for a Women of the Year Achievement Award. Ben Hayoun's roles include Head of Experiences at We Transfer, a member of the Space Outreach and Education committee at the International Astronautical Federation, a member of the British Interplanetary Society and Woman in Aerospace, a postgraduate fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Designer of Experiences at the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute, United NationsAdvisor to the UN VR (virtual Reality) labs and senior lecturer at Central Saint Martin's.

In August 2013 her music was blasted from a Japanese launch pad and orbiting around the earth in the International Space Station (May 2015); she assembled and directs the International Space Orchestra (ISO) - the world first orchestra of space scientists and astronauts from NASA. As part of her multilayered, experiential design practice she has previously collaborated with musicians Beck, Damon Albarn, Bobby Womack, the Prodigy, Penguin Cafe, The Savages and most recently Sigur Ros. Her work has been exhibited at the National Museum of China, MOMA, V&A and other leading design institutions.

Her latest feature length movie Disaster Playground, on emergency procedures and asteroids, was nominated for a Vision Award at SXSW 2015 and is distributed worldwide on Netflix and other digital platforms.


Designing the Impossible

The Willy Wonka of Design and Science, Wired Innovation Fellow, Critical explorer and fearless and passionate provocateur designer Nelly Ben Hayoun will create a space for thoughts, debate and provocation around the sociological and critical impact of new technologies.

She will define her design work and practice as a Designer of Experiences and demonstrate how the Human Condition can prevail over technology. She will pledge for Greek Tragedy and remind the audience that innovation often comes from 'multidisciplinary conflicts'.

She will explain the challenges she faces in her own practice, trying to defy and design in the gravity of the hyppereal, a world where fiction is as truthful as reality.

In this passionate keynote, she will share the complexity of her large scale projects (The International Space Orchestra and Disaster Playground) and introduce member of the public to her 'hammering and total bombardment' philosophy.