Nelly Ben Hayoun at Designersblock London 2009

September 4, 2009

//The Soyuz Chair-Photography by Nick Ballon

Nelly Ben Hayoun is exhibiting as part of the group Disruptive Thinking.

“How can you become an astronaut in your living-room?” [Project done in collaboration with the astronaut Jean Pierre Haignere who lifted off twice from the Soyuz rocket]

Living-room physics: TV on, an astronaut, an interview, a launch, a chair
You, in the living room.

//The Soyuz Chair-Photography by Nick Ballon

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.

5…4…3…2…1…., Which planet will you land on?

//The Soyuz Chair-Photography by Nick Ballon

Nelly Ben Hayoun recently graduated from the Royal College of Art’s Design Interactions MA. The department, lead by Prof. Anthony Dunne explores alternative realities and possible futures as a more narrative and engaging way of doing design.

From a textile design and fine art background, she has worked and done performances in Paris, Tokyo and London. She is interested in how we can use design and science in our everyday life to make it more thrilling, creative, passionate and extreme. She trusts in the creative potential of human passion and fantasy. Hacking and experimenting with the everyday are her favorite hobbies, as well as trying to explode boundaries between science, design, art, amateurs and professionals.

//The Soyuz Chair-Photography by Nick Ballon

Extract from the interview with Jean Pierre Haignere, Astronaut, January 2009.
The lift off, extract interview 13 min 14 seconds.

J.P.H= “So…at the beginning the rocket lifts off…One of the first sensation we have, you can feel the rocket moving, but this is a dull vibration. A bit like a big boat parking. […]
Indeed when the rocket lifts off from its pad, we’ve get the impression that it slightly looses its balance, because, at that time the rocket doesn’t have any speed.

04:07: 08
Nelly: “And what do you feel?”
J.P.H: “Both times [ Jean Pierre Haignere lifts off twice with the Soyuz rocket] I experienced lift off, I had the impression that we weren’t going straight! That was rather a disturbing feeling

“In soyuz there are 3 stages for clearing structures we don’t need anymore.
When you arrive at the end of a stage, the speed curve is nearly vertical. Typically at the very end you’ve got 3,8, 4G.
The last 10 seconds before the motors stops, you think that if it doesn’t stop right now, you are going to be completely crushed!

Nelly: “And how are you positioned in the cockpit?”
J.P.H: Well, we are bent backwards, and we feel all the acceleration coming down to our chests. Physiologically, this is the best condition.

Nelly: “how can I do that in my living room?”
J.P.H: I don’t know….well, yes…
In air force to simulate acceleration they use the angle of the vehicle.


Nelly Ben Hayoun

Designersblock London 2009 takes place during the London Design Festival over 5000 square meters of space alongside 100% Design in Earls Court One.

24 – 27 Sep 2009

Opening times:
Thursday 24 September 10.00 – 21.00 Friday 25 September 10.00 – 19.00 Saturday 26 September 10.00 – 18.00
Sunday 27 September 11.00 – 17.00

Register on the Designersblock website.