Design Indaba

Ahead of her third appearance on the Design Indaba stage, we talk to Nelly Ben Hayoun about her DI experiences, inspiration and why impossible doesn’t exist.

Design Indaba is simply unique. As a designer and keynote speaker I have had the opportunity to speak in a lot of places, they always have been welcoming to me too, but with Design Indaba it is different, unique, 'magical-fantastic' really is the world. Everything can happen at Design Indaba.

I have, like you mentioned, a real history with the platform.

The first time I got on the DI stage I was just two years after graduation from the Royal College of Art. My boyfriend at the time, Thomas Thwaites, (who made a toaster from scratch and now is trying to become a goat) got a book deal out of his talk the year before. I was real nervous and I knew I needed to try and find a way to overcome my anxiety in order to truly share my passion. So, I turned up on stage in my astronaut outfit. I don't think that Michael Beirut and Ravi [Design Indaba founder and CEO Ravi Naidoo] had been informed, and I will remember their surprised facial expression for as long as I will remember DI.

Before my talk, during the rehearsals, I became friends with the sound engineer. Together we tried variety of levels on the sound speakers in the room, in order to really give a bombastic blast to the audience.

“Everything is possible at Design Indaba”

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