b. 1986, HK.

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Produced by Melissa Pierce Murray and Philipp Koehler

NanoVignettes is a series of micro-films presenting latest research from the NanoDTC in an inventive and accessible visual format. NanoDTC students and associates were paired with artists and arts students, and together 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. The pairs worked together to develop ways of communicating their shared understanding, across interesting divergences in ideas, language, and idiom. By harnessing the creativity of scientists and artists working together, the videos speak to wide audiences on many levels.

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. The creative direction of this series was done by artist Melissa Pierce Murray and NanoDTC c2015 student Philipp Koehler.

NanoVignettes will form an online part of the NanoDTC’s exhibit ‘Mind the Nano Gap’ at the Royal Society Summer Exhibition in London from 2-8 July 2018.

About the people:


Melissa Pierce Murray

Production and Creative Direction


Philipp Koehler

Filming and Post Production

Melissa Pierce Murray is an artist and arts educator. She creates physical metaphors which might equally evoke emotional states or forces of immense landscapes, using a range of materials: plasma-cut steel, carved wood, ice, glass, or bubble-wrap.  From large-scale sculptural installations asserting dynamic and powerful lines, to handheld objects revealing an intrigue of abrading and shaping, her works reflect an interest in the process of thinking through making, investigating various modes of interaction between the artwork, audience, and environment. Edgy, alluring, playful, or awkward, her works are not so much to be viewed as to be encountered, inviting a reflective or felt response.

Recent exhibitions include Stasis (Cambridge, 2017)Royal Society of Sculptors Bursary Show (2017), Into Boundless Space I Leap, (curated by Kettle’s Yard for the University of Cambridge Maxwell Center, 2016) and Constellation (Norwich Undercroft, 2016). In 2016, Murray was jointly commissioned to create Breaking Boundaries, a live art installation combining sculpture, dance, and video, for the inauguration of Passion for Knowledge (San Sebastian, Spain). She is currently working on a series of installations exploring the precarious resilience she sees in how humans relate to physical environments and to each other around the globe.

Currently an AA2A artist-in-residence at Anglia Ruskin University, in 2016 Murray received the Royal British Society of Sculptors Bursary Award, and was selected for the Contemporary Visual Arts Network/Museums at Night mentoring program. She holds a BA in English Literature and Physics, and an MA in Fine Arts.

Philipp is a c2015 NanoDTC student, working on ….. for his PhD, jointly between the Optofluidics Group (Department of Physics) and the Reisner Group (Department of Chemistry). Also an experienced photographer and filmmaker, he expresses his creativity and ideas visually in the forms of science, photography, and filmmaking. He likes to break things down to get to their roots. In terms of science, this means simplifying complex systems until a basic model remains that can explain the overall behaviour. In terms of art, this makes him an advocate for minimalistic design, which is discernible in his portrait work. Simplifying and decluttering are processes that he actively engages in. He thrives in environments with enough creative space to generate new ideas.

Philipp did his Bachelor and Master of Science in Physics at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, before moving to the NanoDTC at Cambridge.

Optofluidics Group

Reisner Group


Adriana Forte - MA student, Anglia Ruskin University

Briony Marshall - Professional artist

Cass Baumberg - Sixth form student

Jacqui Jones - MA student, Norwich University of Arts

Neil Horsefield - MA student, Anglia Ruskin University

Priya Odedra - - MA student, Central Saint Martins

Reggi Lui - MA student, Central Saint Martins

Ted Byard - MA student, Norwich University of Arts

Thomas Hill - MA student, Norwich University of Arts

Tim Simmons - Professional artist

Tin Tran - MA student, Norwich University of Arts

Victoria Westerman - MA student, Central Saint Martins

NanoDTC Students and Associates

Charles Creissen - c2014

Greg Tainter - c2013

Hannah Laeverenz Schlogelhofer

Joshua Lewis - c2015

Katarzyna Sokól - Associate

Lok Yi Lee - Associate

Michael Smith - Associate

Michelle Teplensky - Associate

Sean Cormier - Associate

Shruti Sharma - c2015

Simon Engelke - Associate

Taylor Uekert - c2016

Tommaso Busolo - c2016

William Stockham - c2016