b. 1986, HK.


Melissa Pierce Murray

Production and Creative Direction

Melissa Pierce Murray is an artist and arts educator. She is an AA2A artist-in-residence at Anglia Ruskin University and a Royal Society of Sculptors Bursary Award recipient.


Philipp Koehler

Filming and Post Production

Philipp Koehler is a final year PhD student in NanoPhotonics at the NanoDTC, University of Cambridge and also an experienced photographer and filmmaker.

Summer Science Exhibition small.png


Produced by Melissa Pierce Murray and Philipp Koehler

Presenting complex scientific research in an inventive and accessible visual format, NanoVignettes is a series of micro-films of artists using their media to explain scientific research.  Selected artists from Central Saint Martins, Norwich University of the Arts, and Anglia Ruskin University worked with scientists at the University of Cambridge within the EPSRC CDT in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (NanoDTC), to create avenues for public engagement across cutting-edge research in Nano.

NanoVignettes was conceived, directed, and produced by artist Melissa Pierce Murray and scientist/ photographer/filmmaker Philipp Koehler for the University of Cambridge NanoDTC.

Students from the MA Art and Science Course at Central Saint Martins, the MA Fine Arts courses at Norwich University of the Arts, and Anglia Ruskin University, as well as three professional artists and one sixth form student, developed unusual encounters with researchers from the NanoDTC. Pairing artists and scientists, the teams explored points of contact between their disciplines, with scientists introducing the artists to their labs and research, and the artists then using their words and imagery to explain their understanding of the scientists’ work. Fostering interdisciplinary links at a research level, this project gets students to appreciate and utilize different ways of investigation and understanding. 

The pairs worked together to develop ways of communicating their shared understanding, across outrageous gaps in ideas, language, and idiom. By harnessing the creativity of scientists and artists working together, the videos speak to wide audiences on many levels.
— Murray and Koehler

By including artists working across many media, and at various stages in their careers, the videos explain scientific concepts using a plethora of imaginative and off-the-wall approaches, from drawing and animation, to 3D constructions.

NanoVignettes will be at the “Mind the (nano) Gap” exhibit at the Cambridge Science Festival on March 24, and will form an online part of the Royal Society Summer Exhibition in London from 2-8 July 2018.

About the people:

MA students from NUA (Jacqui Jones, Ted Byard, Tin Tran, Thomas Hill), CSM (Priya Odedra, Reggi Lui, Victoria Westerman) and Anglia Ruskin (Adriana Forte, Neil Horsefield) are joined by professional artists Briony Marshall, Tim Simmons, and Melissa Pierce Murray and sixth form student Cass Baumberg. The NanoDTC students are researching wide interdisciplinary topics in the Departments of Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, Materials Science, and other departments where nano-related research is conducted. PhD students include Taylor Uekert, Philipp Koehler, Josh Lewis, Tommaso Busolo, Katarzyna Sokól, Charles Creissen, Hannah Laeverenz Schlogelhofer, Michelle Teplensky, Michael Smith, Greg Tainter, Bill Stockham, Shruti Sharma, Sean Cormier, Simon Engelke, and Lok Yi Lee.