Seminar Series: Homo Sapiens, I hear you

This yearlong series of non-linear, non-conventional, and non-passive seminars will question and re-think humanity’s essential needs; and consider whether the modern practice of design addresses them.

Conceived in collaboration with award-winning director of experiences, Dr. Nelly Ben Hayoun, the curriculum is framed around American psychologist Abraham Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs”, which offers a model that defines the needs of human beings - from the most basic functions (eating, sleeping, etc.) to the more fulfilling (self-improvement, practicing sports, etc.). Our seminars will unravel how human needs have developed through history and how they might continue to develop over time.

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Occurring on the 12th of the month, each seminar will showcase pioneering critical thinkers and present eclectic reference material from around the world. Dr. Ben Hayoun, along with a rotating cast of visiting faculty will facilitate a series of activities, workshops and debates.

Register for the full series below or scroll through each month to register for individual sessions through March.



In conjunction with the research seminars, A/D/O will host a podcast program produced with Elle Clay and disseminated in collaboration with Radio Wolfgang, an editorial partnership with Cabinet Magazine and a series of commissioned installations open to the public. Coming January 2018.

Dr. Nelly Ben Hayoun.

Dr. Nelly Ben Hayoun is a designer of extreme experiences that aims to bring the sublime to life. Dubbed the “Willy Wonka of Design,” Dr. Nelly Ben Hayoun is an award-winning French designer and filmmaker who creates multi-dimensional experiential projects at the intersection of science, theatre, politics and Design. Wired awarded her their inaugural Innovation Fellowship in 2014, and Icon magazine, Dezeen and Creative Review recognized Dr. Ben Hayoun as one of the top 50 designers 'shaping the future' for her pioneering “total bombardment” design philosophy.

Her laboratory, NBH Studios, is on a mission to bring chaos to the world; she is the founder and director of the International Space Orchestra the world’s first orchestra of NASA space scientists and astronauts; and most recently she founded the University of the Underground, a subversive tuition-free educative and cultural programme that is on course to modify the status quo in public institutions and academia.

Nelly Ben Headshot