Karman Fellow 2022
Nelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian
Tour de Moon, International Space Orchestra & University of the Underground
Nelly is an award-winning designer of experiences with over a decade of working to manufacture impossible productions and complex events and projects.
Nelly Ben is an award-winning designer of experiences with over a decade of working to manufacture impossible productions and complex events and projects. She is an artist, radio host, keynote speaker, amateur boxer and the director and producer of three feature-length movies (The International Space Orchestra, 2013; Disaster Playground, 2015; I am (not) a monster, 2019); who creates multidimensional experiential projects at the intersection of film, science, tech, theatre, politics,music and design. Nelly is the founder of both NASA’s International Space Orchestra , the tuition-free charity University of the Underground and design agency Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios. Her large scale projects have included collaborations with political activists like Noam Chomsky, Pussy Riot, or Arjun Appadurai and artists like Massive Attack and Kid Cudi, The Avalanches to name a few. She is known for challenging institutions from within through events, and she has done so at the United Nations, NASA or the International Astronautical Federation where she is Vice Chair of the Technical Committee on the Cultural Utilization of Space (ITACCUS), a member of the IAF Space Education and Outreach Committee (SEOC), and a member of the IAA (International Academy of Astronautics) Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) permanent committee. Tour de Moon is her brainchild, which she is thrilled and honored to develop together with her brilliant team, youths and nighttime workers. Tour de Moon is composed of immersive experiences and live events developed in collaboration with our “universal satellite”: the Moon, seen as a character, a landscape and a prompt for radical imagination. Nelly is passionately committed to supporting the creation of organized communities in building new beginnings. To this end, she actively works to build platforms for others to experience plurality, decolonial practices, social and racial justice, solidarity and equity, so that History does not repeat itself on earth and beyond.