Nelly Ben Hayoun has been called the “Willy Wonka of design and science” and she is on a mission to bring chaos, subversion and disorder into the design and the scientific world. An award-winning director and experience designer she works with leading scientists and engineers, to devise subversive events and experiences.
Her interminable energy and powers of persuasion has brought together space scientists and leading musicians and authors like Beck, Bobby Womack, Damon Albarn, Maywa Denki, Bruce Sterling and Penguin Café in a musical collaboration that is taking music into space. Blasted from a Japanese launch pad in August 2013and her most ambitious project to date; she conceived, assembled and directed the International Space Orchestra (ISO) – the world first orchestra of space scientists from NASA Ames Research Center, Singularity University, International Space University and the SETI Institute.
Ben Hayoun’s bold design practice brought her to investigate the empty lands of Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, or 100m below ground at the Large Hadron Collider. She also collided atoms at SLAC, got stuck in a Soyuz rocket capsule in Baikonur Cosmodrome, and experienced a sonic Booum in the neutrino Observatory Super K in Japan.
The Soyuz Chair
PROJECT DEVELOPED IN COLLABORATION WITH THE ASTRONAUT JEAN PIERRE HAIGNERE WHO LIFT OFF TWICE WITH THE SOYUZ ROCKET
Soyuz was the human spaceflight programme initiated by the Soviet Union in the early 1960s. It was originally part of the Moon-landing programme intended to put a Soviet cosmonaut on the Moon. It included the Soyuz rockets, which were to launch the Soyuz Spacecraft: the first of these flew in 1966.
TV on, an astronaut, an interview, a launch, a chair
You, in the living room.
Space tourism is a great success .The possibilities of weightlessness, to feel the thrill of liftoff and to finally meet the unknown doesn’t have to be a fantasy anymore. But space tourism is still just for the few.
The Soyuz chair accurately reproduces the 3 stages of the Soyuz rocket launch. Reclining into launch position, you face the sky, put on your headset, and use the control panel to select your mode; just a single stage, or the full lift off experience.
The Other Volcano
“The Other Volcano” is a series of semi-domesticated volcanoes, to be housed for a couple of weeks in the living spaces of volunteers. These designed supra-natural objects are large, imposing, and extremely inconvenient – erupting dust and gloop into the living rooms of volunteers seemingly at random.
“In order to make myself recognized by the Other, I must risk my own life” said Sartre.
The Other Volcano imagines a love-hate relationship, a ‘sleeping giant’ in the corner of your domestic environment, with the power to provoke excitement with its rumblings, and also perhaps fear (if not for one’s life in this case, then at least for the soft furnishings of one’s clean and neat ‘living’ room). It is a project that domesticates the most violent of natural processes, addressing and reinterpreting different natures.
The Other Volcano questions the domestication of nature for entertainment purposes.
Super K Sonic BOOOOum
Super Kamiokande is one of only a few neutrino observatories in the world. It is located a kilometre underneath Kamioka mountain in Japan and consists of a cylindrical steel tank,about 40m in diameter, filled with 50,000 tons of ultra-pure water, and lined with 11,146 hand blown glass photomultiplier tubes.
This huge but delicate device has been built to try and catch a glimpse of the countless neutrinos that travel through the Earth every moment – 50 trillion neutrinos are passing through your body every second. This strange, elementary particle has mass, travels close to the speed of light, yet can pass through matter almost unnoticed.
When Newton developed his theories of gravitation, motion and optics in the 17th century, it was thought that the Science of Physics was nearly complete – that there were only a few more years of work left before humans knew everything there was to know about matter and how it moved through space.