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"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."


  • 23.April: RAUMÄNDERUNG: Ab 24. April finden sämtliche Veranstaltungen im Seminarraum 3 / S3 statt.


Sandbox - NanoHacking UNILI


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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.

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.

more about project work and speculativ design thinking

Content (Englisch)

  • Introduction to the science and technologies at the nanometer scale
  • Overview of future technology trends involving nanotechnology
  • Hacking as a method of creative thinking and opening the black box
  • Practical laboratory experience in nanotechnology
  • Societal implication of future technologies
  • Methods for speculative design thinking

Lerninhalt (Deutsch)

  • Einführung in die Wissenschaft und Technologien auf der Nanometerskala
  • Überblick von zukunftsweisenden Technologietrends im Bereich der Nanotech
  • "Hacking" als Methode kreativ zu Denken und die „Black-Box“ zu Öffnen
  • Praktische Laborexperimente im Bereich Nanotechnologie
  • Gesellschaftlicher Einfluss von Zukunftstechnologien
  • Methoden für spekulatives „Design Thinking“

Final Group Presentations

Each group has 40 minutes time for their presentation, including discussions, Q&A

The following parts of your presentations are requested. The order can be changed. suggested times are mentioned.

  • Introduction into your theme (ca 10%)
  • Main presentation (40%)
  • Describe your processes and methodologies used to achieve the goals of your project and critically reflect on them (ca 30%)
  • Summary (5%)
  • Q&A session with other students and mentor (25%)

More info about the project:

  • The project/presentation format can be chosen freely
  • It has to be connected to the main global theme of "Convergence of Life and Tech at the Nanoscale"
  • It has to be situated in your general understanding of the field of Nanotechnology
  • It can be speculative, fictional, dis- utopian, or also applied and realistic
  • It should be situated in the future - define roughly in wich decade or century your project is situated
  • It should be fun !!! Keep the humours alive and be critical

About the format:

  • Please inform M. Dusseiller in advance (2 days) if your presentation needs extra infrastructure (sound system, lights, projection etc...)

NanoHackLab Projects

Collaborative Projects

Team-Project Work

Group 1 - NanoHacking-UNILI

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  • Chaudhary, Omer Khalid
  • Ender, Raphael
  • Lamprecht, Claudio
  • Oksiukovska, Anastasiia

Group 2 - NanoHacking-UNILI

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  • Alge, Janine
  • Bösch, Kevin
  • Ruech, Barbara
  • Weber, Manuel

Group 3 - NanoHacking-UNILI

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  • Chetschumjan, Sevak
  • Obermaier, Christoph
  • Schatzmann, Philip
  • Türtscher, Manuela

Group 4 - NanoHacking-UNILI

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  • El Ghayes, Hassan Amr
  • Oehri, Stephan
  • Schnetzer, Stefanie
  • Urban, Sabrina


Day 1 - Introduction

Day 2 & 3 - NanoHackLab

Setting up the Lab

Making Small Things

Dimensionality on the Nanoscale

Seeing Small Things

Surfaces and Interfaces

Day 4 - Group Works Start

Day 5 - Speculative Futures

Day 6 - Presentations


Mentor - Dr. Marc Dusseiller (CH)

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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 and synthesizers, hardware hacking, phyisical computing, nanotech and microscopy. 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. In collaboration with Kapelica Gallery, he has started the BioTehna Lab in Ljubljana (2012 – 2013), an open platform for interdisciplinary and artistic research on life sciences. 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.

Special Guest - Dipl.Ing. Urs Gaudenz (CH)


  • jayjay
  • Omer.K
  • hghayesh
  • manuelW
  • coconut91
  • StephanOe (changed from Stephan)
  • SabrinaU (changed from Sabrina)
  • christophobi
  • carapace
  • keegan11
  • BonsaiBob
  • ueli
  • babsiru
  • oksivk
  • doc1993
  • sogomon


Similar course done in Aalto University for High-School and Art Students NanoHacking: Converging Life and Tech at the Nanoscale - BiofiliA HighSchool, Finland

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.

Next Nature - Nanosupermarket


Critical Design & Speculative Futures

Collective Action Toolkit by frog

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Download the Collective Action Toolkit File

And read more about it here:

Human Centric Design

Service Design

Critical Design

Co-design: some principles, theory, and practice

Other Examples



Speculative Design

Nanotechnology Intros

Experimenting with protocell: