Designing the Impossible

Nelly Ben Hayoun

Filmed on October 9, 2015 at the 2015 AIGA Design Conference.

Dubbed the Willy Wonka of design and science, Nelly Ben Hayoun creates space for thoughts, debate, and provocation around the sociological and critical impact of new technologies and the human condition. In this video, Nelly shares why she believes innovation comes from “multidisciplinary conflicts, ” touches on the challenges she faces defying and designing in the gravity of the hyperreal, a world where fiction is as truthful as reality, and discusses the complexity of two recent large-scale projects, The International Space Orchestra and Disaster Playground.

Nelly Ben Hayoun directs a multidisciplinary “Willy Wonka” design studio in London that creates subversive events and experiences and is on a mission to bring chaos, critical thinking, and disorder into the scientific, design, and digital world. She’s the designer of experiences at the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute and is an academic at world leading institutions including the Architectural Association School of Architecture, Central Saint Martins, and the Royal College of Art.

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Icon Magazine nominated her as one of the 50 international designers “shaping the future” and Wired awarded her with an innovation fellowship for her work and its “significant impact on the world.” She recently became the head of experiences at WeTransfer where she’s developing partnerships to build a critical digital platform to engage WeTransfer’s 66 million monthly active users.