Why WeTransfer hired a disaster-obsessed experiential designer

Neil Berrett

As an experiential designer, Nelly Ben-Hayoun’s work has taken her to Stanford’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory where she collided atoms, Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome where she climbed into a Soyuz rocket capsule, Super Kamiokande in Japan where neutrinos collide “to form SONIC BOOOOUM!”—in Ben-Hayoun’s own words—and the wastelands of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, where she got the inspiration to put together an orchestra made up of astronauts. Her work is about sharing knowledge through experience, and crossing disciplinary boundaries while she does it—which is why filesharing site WeTransfer has just brought her aboard to give the service’s digital content a more “physical experience”.

“For me, it is like we are building a new astronaut ‘corp’—a community of users that want to create and explore new things,” Ben-Hayoun tells Wired.co.uk. Understandably, she’s a bit astronaut obsessed right now.

Matthew Linton, ISO cello Player in NASA Ames Rescue Site
Nelly Ben-Hayoun

In between training to become and astronaut three times a week in London (she says she’s on track, notwithstanding any Christmas cakes over the holiday season) and creating a “counterculture” at NASA with the hugely successful International Space Orchestra (following the performance of Ground Control: an Opera in Space, co-composed by Damon Albarn and others, the music was launched into Earth’s orbit on two Ardusats), she is building multidisciplinary experiences with scientists at the Seti Institute to teach the public about its alien-hunting work and building emergency scenarios with her Disaster Playground project.

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via Ars Technica http://feeds.arstechnica.com/~r/arstechnica/index/~3/vO66pb7UAyI/


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