SETI Institute • Artist

Dr Nelly Ben Hayoun is a designer of extreme experiences that aims to bring the sublime to life. Dubbed the “Willy Wonka of Design,” Dr Nelly Ben Hayoun is an award-winning French designer and filmmaker who creates multi-dimensional experiential projects at the intersection of science, theatre, politics and Design. Wired awarded her their inaugural Innovation Fellowship in 2014, and Icon magazine recognized Dr Ben Hayoun as one of the top 50 designers ‘shaping the future’ for her pioneering “total bombardment” design philosophy.

She is the founder and director of the International Space Orchestra the world’s first orchestra of NASA space scientists and astronauts; and most recently she founded the University of the Underground, a tuition-free school that is focusing on empowering countercultures in institutions and advocating pluralistic thinking and transnational education. She is the author and director of three feature-length documentaries on space exploration and investigating the production of knowledge. Her various roles include Chief of Experiences at WeTransfer, Designer of Experiences at the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute, advisor to the United Nations Virtual Reality Labs, an associate fellow at the Hannah Arendt Center for politics and humanities at Bard College and director of Nelly Ben Hayoun studios in London, UK.


International Astronautical Congress 2019

21-25 October 2019

Washington, United States


International Astronautical Congress 2018

1–5 October 2018

Bremen, Germany