Nelly Ben Hayoun

International Space Orchestra
Experience Design

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.

My Sessions

Designing the Impossible

Main Stage

Nelly Ben Hayoun will create a space for thoughts, debate and provocation around the sociological, political and critical impact of new technologies in space exploration. She will define her design work and practice as a Designer of Experiences and demonstrate how the human condition can prevail over technology. In this passionate keynote, she will share […]