Designer of Experiences, WIRED Innovation Fellow, Keynote Speaker, Director

Nelly Ben Hayoun has a healthy disregard for the impossible; called the “Willy Wonka of design and science”, Ben Hayoun is on a mission to bring chaos, subversion and disorder to the worlds of design and science. An award-winning director and designer of experiences she works with leading scientists and engineers, to devise subversive events and experiences.

One of her many titles includes being the brains behind International Space Orchestra at NASA, an experimental and hybrid research laboratory where astronauts and space scientists have been invited to “implement, deconstruct, perform, sing, mix, modify, and design musical acts in control rooms.”

Voted by Icon Magazine as Future50,
the top 50 international designers “shaping the future”  

Her most ambitious project to date, the International Space Orchestra (ISO) is the worlds first orchestra of space scientists. A self confessed "no one", Ben Hayoun used her interminable energy and powers of persuasion, to bring together space scientists, astronauts, authors and leading musicians like Beck, Bobby Womack, Damon Albarn, Maywa Denki, Bruce Sterling and Penguin Café in a musical collaboration that was literally launched into space in 2013.

Nominated by Icon Magazine in 2013 as one of the 50 international designers “shaping the future”  Ben Hayoun’s bold design practice has investigated the empty lands of Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, 100m below ground at the Large Hadron Collider and collided atoms at SLAC. Ben Hayoun has also got stuck in a Soyuz rocket capsule in Baikonur Cosmodrome, and experienced a sonic boom in the neutrino Observatory Super K in Japan. Shortlisted by Icon magazine for best Emerging Design Practise, Ben Hayoun is a true pioneer and her work is unlike any other at this point in time - it will be a marker in design history.

Presented with the Arts Council England Exceptional Award

Fortune 500 companies around the world invite Ben Hayoun to share her unique and ground breaking approach to reimagine a new world. Finally in 2015, she was nominated for a Women of the Year Achievement Award, which rewards, since 1955, women 'who have made a significant achievement' and 'are being recognized for their strides in making the world a better place'. In her spare time Ben Hayoun is training to be an astronaut and is writing a PhD. 


  • NASA, U.S
  • Mattel HQ, U.S
  • Unilever, U.K
  • Red Bull HQ, Austria
  • Airbnb HQ, U.S
  • Microsoft Research Laboratory, UK
  • Google HQ, U.S
  • Mailchimp U.S
  • Wired, U.K
  • Autodesk, U.S
  • We Transfer, N.L
  • It’s Nice That, U.K
  • AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts), U.S
  • Gaité Lyrique, France
  • BBC, U.K
  • Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), U.K


  • Lego, Denmark
  • CityWire, U.K
  • Museum of Modern Art New York, U.S
  • British Council, U.K
  • The Guardian, U.K
  • National Museum, Sweden
  • Royal Geographical Society, U.K
  • Design Indaba Festival, South Africa
  • SCLBits, Mexico
  • Blueprint Magazine, U.K
  • NHK TV, Japan
  • We Make Money Not Art, U.K
  • XL Recordings, U.K
  • Science and Technology Facility Council, U.K

Nelly Ben Hayoun's awards and titles

Creative Review 2017: Top 50 Creative Leaders driving change in the world at large
Dezeen 2017: Top 50 inspirational women in architecture and design
The Dots 2017: Listed 3 times in their top 150 Female creative leaders who are redefining the creative industries
The Metropolitan Museum (MET) 2016: Best of The Year
Indiewire 2015: Highlighted as "one to watch" at SWSW
SXSW 2015: Nominated for a VISION Award
Wired 2014: Innovation Fellow
Woman of the Year Achievement Award 2015: Finalist
Icon Magazine 2013: Top 50 international designers shaping the future
United Nations Advisor
Space Outreach and Education committee and of The Committee for the Cultural Utilisation of Space at the International Astronautical Federation: Member since 2011
SETI Institute and NASA Ames Research Center: Designer of Experiences since 2013
WeTransfer: Chief of Experiences since 2013

Nelly Ben Hayoun's profile by One Minute Wonder

The Life, the Sea and the Space Viking performance for Design Indaba 2017

Watch Nelly Ben Hayoun at The Next Web, Amsterdam 2016

Nelly Ben Hayoun speaks at Airbnb Design Talks in San Francisco, 2016

AIGA Design Conference, New Orleans 2015

Talks at Google series in London and Los Angeles

Nelly Ben Hayoun at WIRED 2014 conference in London 

Nelly Ben Hayoun is interviewed on Icelandic National TV

Watch the trailers from Nelly Ben Hayoun's full feature films

The International Space Orchestra 2013

Disaster Playground 2015

An interview with Nelly Ben Hayoun on BBC Radio 4

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