What if an asteroid hits the earth?

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Disaster Playground, the design project by WDCD14-speaker Nelly Ben Hayoun, just launched a new website including the trailer for the documentary feature film ‘Disaster Playground’. The project is a creative critical platform that investigates future outer space catastrophes and the procedures to manage and assess the risks.

The feature film ‘Disaster Playground’, due to be released in March 2015, is the main component of the platform. The film follows the scientists planning the monitoring and deflection of hazardous Near Earth Objects and the real-life procedures in place in the event of an asteroid collision with the earth. ‘Disaster Playground’ follows the chain of command that runs from the SETI Institute and NASA to the White House and United Nations and introduces the people who are responsible from protecting us from a potentially devastating asteroid impact.

‘Here, you meet the real people at NASA, and watch them make real decisions under pressure,” Ben Hayoun explained in Disegno magazine. “When the staff I worked with watched the film we made, they found flaws in their procedure which they are now addressing. So I like to think I’ve contributed towards a better solution that will save us from asteroids, which is not what a critical designer is supposed to do.”

When Ben Hayoun was in Amsterdam last May for WDCD she also talked to Uncube magazine about her motive for the Disaster Playground project.

Ben Hayoun: “I am looking at designing ‘extreme experiences’ for the public in order for them to question what the future of space exploration might be, how could they make dark energy in their kitchen sink and other surreal experiences, how can they make it for real? I believe that, by taking an extreme approach, you really get them to actively engage with a cause or a research and that is what motivates me when it comes to space exploration, I want to see the next woman on Mars or on an asteroid, and without public backing that will not happen.

“Disaster Playground is a critical platform that engages the main actors of the project to reflect on their practice and get members of the public to engage with what the craft of space exploration is, who are the people ‘making’ it, and where is this all going?”

Stills from 'Disaster Playground' as shown on the website

Stills from 'Disaster Playground' as shown on the website

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