January 8, 2015


Dubbed the Willy Wonka of Design and Science, award-winning director and designer of experiences Nelly Ben Hayoun is a critical explorer, and a fearless and passionate provocateur. In 2013, Icon Magazine nominated Ben Hayoun as one of the 50 international designers “shaping the future”. She is the Designer of Experiences at the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute, Head of Experiences at We Transfer, and a member of the Space Outreach and Education committee at the International Astronautical Federation. Wired magazine awarded Nelly Ben Hayoun with a WIRED Innovation fellowship for her work to date and its potential to make ‘significant impact on the world ‘. Ben Hayoun previously collaborated with Beck, Bobby Womack, George Lucas, Damon Albarn, Maywa Denki, Bruce Sterling and Penguin Café in a musical collaboration that took music into space. Blasted in space from a Japanese launch pad in August 2013; she assembled and directs the International Space Orchestra (ISO) – the world first orchestra of space scientists from NASA. In 2014 Icon Magazine nominated NBH Studio as the ICON Design Studio Award of the Year.

Exhibitor, and keynote speaker; she has worked with leading museums and design centres across the world. Ben Hayoun’s first feature documentary: The International Space Orchestra (2013) (running time 57 min) tells the story of the incredible journey that Ben-Hayoun took with the employees of NASA Ames Research Center and the SETI Institute in California, in setting up the International Space Orchestra, and the production of the space opera they made together. The film contains interviews with scientists from NASA, as well as the final production of Ground Control: A Space Opera, it features musical contributions from Damon Albarn and Bobby Womack, and Penguin Café (Arthur Jeffes). In January 2013, the International Space Orchestra feature film had its world premiere at the Rotterdam International Film Festival where it was acclaimed by the critic as a “masterpiece” (Independent Cinema Office, ICO), a “real achievement” (DOMUS),”as thrilling as watching a rocket launch” and “Spine Tingling” (The Guardian).

At SXSW film 2015 Ben Hayoun will present the World Premiere of NBH studio Second feature documentary Disaster Playground. The film follows the scientists planning the monitoring and deflection of hazardous Near Earth Objects and the real-life procedures in place.

In her space time, she is training to become an astronaut

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