Watching Nelly Ben Hayoun speak is like witnessing a force of nature. Fast-paced and outspoken, the designer whips through her creative approach, opinions and ideologies at breakneck speed. “We subscribe to the hammering technique,” she says smiling, “making sure a no always turns into a yes”. She came to Nicer Tuesdays to introduce her latest pioneering initiative, the University of the Underground – a free master’s course in design that she hopes will have big impact.
“We felt there was a missing link in education,” she explains. “We need social dreaming. The NHS was a dream but bureaucracy got in the way. We want to reinstate this to institutions.” For the student body, she’s looking for people to add to her self-penned “network of dreamers”.
“We dream with open eyes,” she says. “We’re the dangerous people.”
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