NBH at Google Talk

nelly at Google Talks - May 13, 2015


Watch Disaster Playground Director talk at Google as part of the Google Talks Series

Nelly Ben Hayoun: Designing the Impossible.

Dubbed the ‘Willy Wonka of Design and Science’, award-winning director and designer of experiences Nelly Ben Hayoun is a critical explorer, a fearless and passionate provocateur. 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”.

Ben Hayoun’s many roles include the Designer of Experiences at the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute, Head of Experiences at We Transfer, and is a member of the Space Outreach and Education committee at the International Astronautical Federation.

Ben Hayoun previously partnered with Beck, Bobby Womack, Damon Albarn, Maywa Denki, Bruce Sterling and Penguin Café in a musical collaboration that took music into space. Blasted from a Japanese launch pad in August 2013; she assembled and directs the International Space Orchestra (ISO) – the world first orchestra of space scientists and astronauts from NASA. Ben Hayoun’s first feature documentary: The International Space Orchestra, premiered at the International Film Festival in Rotterdam where it was acclaimed by critics as a “masterpiece” (ICO), a ‘real achievement’ (DOMUS), “as thrilling as watching a rocket launch” and “Spine Tingling” (Guardian).

Her latest project Disaster Playground was awarded The Arts Council England Exceptional Award. Considered as ‘really remarkable and of global importance’ (Peter Knott, Director, Arts Council England), Disaster Playground is a large multi-platform project with a number of components including a feature film and an exhibition. The project investigates future outer space catastrophes and the design of procedures to manage and assess the risks of a potential asteroid of significant size hitting the earth. In her new documentary, Ben Hayoun works with NASA and SETI scientists, the United Nations and even the Whitehouse to unravel the complex nature of a real-life catastrophe.

Disaster Playground’s feature film premiered at SXSW in March 2015 and was selected as one of the six highlights of SXSW while competing in the Feature Documentary, Vision Category which promotes ‘audacious filmmakers, risk-taking artists in the new cinema landscape who demonstrate raw innovation and creativity in documentary and narrative filmmaking’. The film will be released on all digital platforms on Asteroid Day, June 30th 2015.

Ben Hayoun is a keynote speaker and exhibits her work in leading museums and design centres across the world. She is also completing a PhD in Human Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London, and in her spare time is training to be an astronaut.

Nelly’s official website:

Disaster Playground website:

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