NanoHacking: Converging Life and Tech at the Nanoscale - BiofiliA HighSchool, Finland

From Hackteria Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

"The innovators of 1600 were hackers before the word existed; they proposed open sharing of ideas for the benefit of humanity. Isaac Newton, Robert Hooke, Descartes, and the other scientists of the late 1600s could not have inaugurated the greatest scientific innovation of all time—the invention of modern science itself—without the Hackers of the 1600s. The Renaissance’s secretive structure was hacked, and it inspired the Scientific Revolution."


Brief Description


During this course, the students will be introduced into the merging disciplines of of art, science and engineering that meet at the nanoscale. But what is nanotechnology? It promises huge beneficial impact on global health, sustainable energy and novel materials. At the same time utopian visions, science-fiction scenarios and fundamental fears are clashing at discussions in society. Throughout the course, we will lift the fogs of these superficial discussions and through hands-on activities get closer to grasp the world of the small. We will build our own simple DIY (do-it-yourself) optical and electronic instruments to learn more about nanoparticles and nanosensors, how to "see" them, how to "hear" them. We will also produce our own metallic and organic nanoparticles and finally experiment with magnetically controlled nanorobots.

"Beginning with the telescopes and microscopes of the Renaissance, tools have played a critical role in advancing science and technology. Scientific tools provide us with abilities to observe and understand nature."

One key aspect of the nanosciences is the fact that the traditional disciplinary borders of physics, biology, engineering, to name a few, are merging. With the current tools and methods of understanding matter on the smallest scales of atoms and molecules, only a true collaborative and transdiscplinary approach can lead to new insight, application and constructive discourse of its societal implications.

The course is accessible for all motivated students, no specific background needed.

Schedule, 2 - 5. December 2013


max 20 motivated students from the partner high-schools and Aalto ARTS and ELEC age x-x



Mentor - Dr. Marc Dusseiller (CH)

Dr. Marc R. Dusseiller is a transdisciplinary scholar, lecturer for micro- and nanotechnology, cultural facilitator and artist. He works in an integral way to combine science, art and education. He performs DIY (do-it-yourself) workshops in lo-fi electronics, hardware hacking, microscopy, music and robotics. He was co-organizing Dock18, Room for Mediacultures, diy* festival (Zürich, Switzerland), KIBLIX 2011 (Maribor, Slovenia), workshops for artists, schools and children as the former president (2008-12) of the Swiss Mechatronic Art Society, SGMK. Currently, he is developing means to perform bio- and nanotechnology research and dissemination (Hackteria | Open Source Biological Art) in a DIY fashion in kitchens, ateliers and in developing countries.

Mentor - Andy Gracie (ES/UK)

Andy Gracie, London -1967, is an artist working between various disciplines including installation, robotics, sound, video and biological practice. The work he produces is situated between the arts and the sciences, creating situations of exchange between natural and artificial systems which allow new emergent behaviours to develop. Alongside this work he has been involved in and continues to provide a range of teaching, lecturing and workshop activities internationally and is a member of the DRU research group at the University of Huddersfield.

Partner - Biofilia, Aalto University

Assistant 1 - Marika Hellman

Assistant 2 - tba

Detailed Schedule


Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4


Infrastructure needed

  • laser-printer for transparencies
  • General tools for making, cutters, tape, scissors, pliers etc...
  • Hot Glue
  • (Soldering Irons)

Labware that should be there anyway

  • General labware, glass beakers, plastic ware
  • General lab instruments, stirrer, balances
  • 50 ml centrifuge (eg. Falcon) tubes
  • eppendorf tubes 1.5 ml
  • plastic pipettes
  • plastic containers, IKEA staayle
  • goggles
  • gloves

to buy/order

  • 50 mw 532nm Green Laser Module
  • Lenses
  • H2O2 15% - 30%
  • DVD-R 3-4 discs to break/hack
  • cuvettes multipack. details will follow
  • access to a laser-cutter / FabLab to prepare the spectrophotometer kit?

dusjagr brings

  • NanoBots
  • Silver Nitrate
  • electronics for Vive-la-Resistance
  • PCB material
  • NaSO4
  • NaOH
  • UV lamp?
  • aerogel
  • plastic syringes

Furter readings and interesting links


NanoŠmano - LifeSystems is an intersting art/sci collaborative research project, which happened 3 times in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

The following minimal circuit was developed as a DIY nano-based resistive surface sensor, introducing photolithography and surface properties, see Vive-la-Resistance


A course for bachelor students in biomedical engineering by the mentor, Marc Dusseiller, introducing a game-concept into the practical teaching of micro- and nanotechnology.

UCLA Sci|Art Nanolab

A 2 week summer-school for high-school students held every year at UCLA, combining artists and scientists as mentors.


  • New Art/Science Affinities free for download. Please read through it briefly and select one article/project that inspires you and present it during the introduction round with a few sentences, what it is and why it inspired you.


MRSEC Education Group

Whitesides talks about perspectives of nanotechnology

Artworks related

Pe Lang - loads of works related to smart materials and motors

Fredrik de Wilde - various artworks related to Nano- and Quantum-sciences

Cris Orfescu - organized NanoArt for a couple of years

Victoria Vesna, and various collaborators from UCLA art|sci