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Day 1, 21.6.2010

June 22, 2010 in Uncategorized by Cristina Ocampo Bravo

Today we were all introduced to Nano-science, an area of study, that according to Morehead (, deals mainly with the study of the different properties that materials acquire when manipulated at a nanoscale; however we learnt that this definition is incomplete as even though it focuses mainly on miniscule materials, Nano-science embraces other areas that differ from applied sciences and even technology, such as art. In my opinion, this perspective is interesting as well as important as it is essential to understand the duality that is present in it for regarding it merely as an “objective” study is quite hollow as there is much more that can be achieved through it than just scientific knowledge, such as incredible art pieces. The Art Institute of Chicago ( claims that art and science overlap naturally as they both study their surroundings and interpret them through various mediums, and I believe that they use one another as science needs art’s creativity and dynamicity while art uses scientific discoveries and properties.


J. W. Goethe was a man that showed how this two areas can be connected as he was both interested in sciences (such as optical studies) as well as arts (such as poetry and literature).

I found today’s lecture very stimulating as it gave a brief introduction as to how imagining the impossible can be made possible with nanotechnology for as How stuff works ( , by arranging the building blocks of life in any manner we want, anything is possible. The part that I considered the most interesting was that when altering the original arrangement of an element, the element’s properties change and as RingSurf ( explains, when a molecule is put through quantum confinement its electrons are trapped in a smaller space, therefore they acquire new electronic properties and new colors as their wave length . When dealing with these elements we have to understand that we need to observe these in a different manner in order to be capable of manipulating them.


the size of the nano crystal shall define the color that the quantum dots adopt

According to Center Responsible for Nanotechnology (, this type of science has no boundaries when it comes to developing diverse industries as can produce better and smarter items that aid the general public. But why stop there? Making products is just one side of its possibilities, using creativity and imagination for manipulating this technology can have an even further reach.


This image shows how silicon carbide was used at a nano scale to develop a series of forms


June 22, 2010 in Uncategorized by miu

I just came back from Shanghai, China and uploaded some pictures of the workshop I did with Parsons The New School for Design:

I will be very happy to tell you more about the workshop and things I’ve seen in Shanghai.

First day 6/21/10

June 22, 2010 in Uncategorized by Show Shino

Today was my first day.  I was informed on the general background of nanotechnology and its history.  What I found especially interesting was the dangers predicted about nanotechnology such as the “gray goo”.  I had never thought about the consequences of something like nanotechnology.  Probably because of my thinking that any advance of technology is a good thing, which is the way most students are taught nowadays.  Although the theory then is contradicted by examples of bacteria, who also perform the same kind of exponential multiplying, but has clearly not consumed the world.  So for now I think we are safe from “grey goo”.  We also learned the concept behind the third culture, how there are supposedly two cultures right now (art and science) and the third would be a sort of collaboration between the two.  But I felt like we only learned the basic idea, and this program we are about to embark on would help us form our individual explanation for what the third culture is.  Right now I just feel like the third culture is making art with science, but I still don’t see the importance in that.  So for now I am anxious to see what I will learn newly about this stuff.  Another thing that grabbed my attention was the criticism of new ideas over the years.  New ideas are always initially looked down upon because people are uncomfortable with it, they don’t understand it.  That was the sum of what I thought about today.

sci/art nanolab blog day #1

June 22, 2010 in Uncategorized by Yue Wang

In our first day of the Sci/Art Nanolab program, we spent a lot of the time going through introductions of various things, from counselors to topics we will cover during these next two weeks.  When I signed up for this program, I thought that I knew a decent amount about nanotechnology, but today’s lectures showed me that I have barely scratched the surface of this area of technology.  There are many more uses than i expected there to be, such as the technology used by the Nokia Morph (, as well as many dangers that i did not expect to exist, such as the potential of destruction caused by “gray goo” (

In the first lecture, we started off with a description of Charles Percy Snow, who was one of the first people to draw the connection between science and art with the famous literary piece The Two Cultures (  In this book, C. P. Snow introduces the concept of two separate “cultures”, which are essentially the sciences and humanities.  He states that as long as we treat these two areas of study separately, there will be many things that we are not able to solve.  To successfully apply our knowledge to solve as many problems as we can in this world, we must be able to combine these two extremes to find a satisfactory medium (

Later on, we discussed the existence of a “third culture”, which is an ideal situation where literary and scientific intellectuals collaborate to work more efficiently than they could have by themselves.  Although this is not yet a defined state, many people are trying to uncover its nature, while we will find out more about it as the course progresses (


Jane Lee, June 21, Day 1

June 22, 2010 in Uncategorized by Jane Lee

Yeah! First day in UCLA with SciㅣArt! Although my tired body gave me hard time to wake up this morning, the sight of the CNSI building was dazzling and amazed me. I’d been joing several science related camp since I moved into USA three years ago before but I never had such opportunity to see this closely to this much advanced technology and thoughts. Especially the idea of the two cultures and the third culture which is the medium of those two was quite new to me. I never thought of  science and art would be blended into one that can efficiently used by people or simply entertain one. This new thought was even denied in Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons which came into public not far ago as well as the  film version of this book. What this book argued was that  there is certain undesolvable boundary between religion and science. Dan Brown believed emotion or spirituality and reason can not be  mixed into one. Between the Classic Antiquity era and Middle Ages, religion and art always came with cookie-cutter themes: Virgin Mary, Jesus Chirist and unforgetablly God.    


                                        “Angels and Demons”  YouTube Preview Image
 Middle Ages and Virgin Mary: <>
Classical Antiquity and its art’s importance: <>

Although the contemporary artists began with Expressionists, started to resist the now tedious themes of religion, religion and art was like well-bonded chemical compounds to some of artists such as Salbador Dali. In addition Dali was one of few artists attempted to adapt crucial concepts of science such as atoms and molecules into his Surrealism



Dali’s Sacrament of Last Supper


                                                                                                              Dali’s  God on the Brain (the yellow 
                                                                                                               object on the back was supposingly 
                                                                                                               Dali’s imaginary image of atom)       ->                

Video of Salvador Dali’s pieces: YouTube Preview Image
Video of Salvador Dali himself: YouTube Preview Image

Therefore, it is quite reasonable to say that even close modern time hardly has belief that science and art or spirituality can blend. Lecture I listened today was very inspiring and it easily broke those stereotypes. I  am sincerely looking forward to how to enclose the gap between science and art throught this experience. I can’t wait till tomorrow to leanrn:)!

Day 1: Lectures, Lectures, and more Lectures

June 22, 2010 in Uncategorized by Shalmali

Day 1 at UCLA was tiring both mentally and physically.

The video about looking around you had the same feel as a Monty Python skit and it took me a minute to figure out if it was a parody or it was a serious lecture from a fancy British university.
Infecting a “professor” with sewage water and the lack of proper lab technique made it pretty clear it was meant as a joke.

The video with statistics about the number of people on the internet and college graduates was very interesting to me because  some of the things it talked about, like Myspace, are now obsolete even though the video was only made 4 years ago. I realized how fast the world is changing; the things that are happening right now and the problems we are facing at this moment are going to be completely different from the problems facing the world and the events occurring even 5 years from now.

The first lecture on the course was more of a warm-up for the loads of information that was going to be thrown at us the rest if the day. I was introduced to the concept of calling art a culture and calling science a culture since I had never thought of them like that before. So after we had the two cultures, when they came together, it became the elusive third culture that somehow combined the two. This was where  something clicked for me. I have always loved doing art and I love doing science, but I could never find something that combined the two in a cohesive package. I had never realized that there were other people just like me who couldn’t pick between art and science. This was where I realized I was going to have an awesome two weeks.

After an awesome lunch, the lecture on nanotechnology really interesting and I have to be honest, I knew absolutely nothing about nanotechnology and I was completely blown away by the idea that this was even possible. I had never imagined that atoms and molecules artificially bonded together to create things like nanotubes or self-cleaning cement or even anti-bacterial socks.

Professor Vesna’s lecture was also fascinating to me because I also have an interest in looking at the impact on society that various things make and how art and science are seen by people today. The study about how scientists are seem by the rest of the world shown by asking children to draw a scientist was something that caught my eye today. I realized that scientists are still seen as crazy people running around labs in white lab coats that are very smart, but what surprised me the most is that the kids didn’t see similarities between themselves and scientists. To them, scientists were too smart and were people outside of their world.

The slide about stereotypes for women reminded me of the main charecter in one of my favorite TV shows, Bones, it is a crime drama about a forensic anthropologist named Dr. Temperance Brennan that solves murders based on the bones of the victims. She is a pure scientist who believes in hard evidence, using facts, and not speculating and guessing. As a woman in science, she is portrayed as emotionless, completely out of touch with culture,  and very focused on her work. This is another example of a woman in science that is shown to be very rigid and very robotic, she is constantly teased for not getting references to pop culture and her style of speaking is almost robotic.”Bones”_Brennan,

Bones has proof that science and art are slowly being merged back into a third culture with the character of Angela Montenegro who is an artist that is hired by Dr. Brennan to do facial reconstructions for the remains of the victims. In later episodes, she uses a computer to model out the victim and various scenarios relating to the murder. Angela represents exactly what this program does in a real world way, she is an artist who had an interest in science and now combines the two to help solve crimes.

I was intrigued by the Third Culture idea, so I researched it a little and found an article about how ironic it was that science was considered a culture since culture usually refers to popular culture and what the general populous likes and follows. ( This was something I really disagreed with since I come from the Silicon Valley where science and technology are the culture. The majority of the residents have some connection to science or technology so everyone follows it and technology is a very popular thing back home.

Overall, I had a blast. I learned a lot and got a lot of exercise climbing up and down stairs all day. Can’t wait for tomorrow.

Danielle Licht’s Nano Intro Day 1

June 22, 2010 in Uncategorized by Danielle Licht

Today we were exposed basics of nanotechnology and told to breach boundaries, question authority,and imagine the unimaginable. While knowledge of nanoscience has been around for hundreds of years, humans are now able to harness this knowledge along with the more recent technological advancements in order to create new ways to address problems  and possibilities. At first, I only saw this as a positive breakthrough that the human race would definitely embrace, but I quickly realized the contreversary and fear that arises with something so new and invasive such as nanotechnology. As described in the article, ” What’s So Special about Nanotechnology and Nanoethics?” (, I found many of the fears that arise are not anything new. Some include invasion of privacy, human enhancement, and an morality.While some points are valid I think the root of this worry comes from the lack of public awareness and fictional literature.

Coming into the course I had a preconcieved idea that new science discoveries made new technology possible. Now, however, I realize that technology has also allowed for scientific exploration by providing the proper “tools”. Miscroscopes, specifically the scanning microscope, became the key to nanotechnology. In the article “Inventors”, the nobel prize winners Heinrich Rohrerin and Russell Young are described. They are recognized for creating the ground-breaking equipment that created the instrument small enough to touch the atom. Its single atom point, or topografiner, provides a three-dimensional picture of atoms on a surface. This important tool opened the door for nanotechnology because it allows one to physically see what they want to manipulate. (

Scanning Tunneling microscope

Another interesting relationship I found was the connection between structure and function. I found this fascinating because in a way nanotechnology is mimicking nature. Atoms are being arranged to create a structure that can produced a desired function. An example of this is nanotubes. The nanotubes variation intern provide a variety of physical properties.( This carbon structure is the strongest material and has inspired ideas such as space travel. The space elevator sparked my interest because it seems like a fantasy that could become a reality. With a $4 million dollar grant, NASA has taken this idea very seriously because nanotubes now have the capabilities of stretching long distances in a strong but lightweight fashion. Many are even predicting this elevator in the next decade. (

Space elevator

As the professors talked about the interface between science and art, they emphasized one man in particular, Leonardo Davinci. I had never thought about this previously because I subconsciously was categorizing the two fields, but it now is clear that it is only recent culture that has seperated them. Davinci represents the “Renaissance Man”, a person who is versed in all areas of study. Leonardo  studied mathematics, mechanics, anatomy and more.I especially found it fascinating that he was intrigued by nature because nanotechnology also uses it as a model. (

Renaissance Man

While this well-rounded person was prized in the time, time created a division between art and science that I am curious to learn how to bridge. By the end of this course I do not intend to be a “Renaissance Woman” but I hope to have knowledge on the possible integration of these two subjects in a way in which I can find my niche.

Day 1 Blog

June 22, 2010 in Uncategorized by Robert Johnson

The sci|art nanolab obviously focuses on the combination of both science and art into a new discipline. While as of now, I don’t believe there are many prominent fields with this in mind, one that I think of is the field of architecture.

Architecture combines civil engineering, arguable based in mathematics and science, with art. The difference is the inclusion of an aesthetic factor. While engineering produces buildings and structures that are purely utilitarian, architecture seeks to elevate these constructs to a higher level. It combines the scientific and computational aspects of engineering and the imagination and freedom of art and melds it together in order to design that which exists in the mind and allows it to be translated to draft and then into an actual structure.

A new branch of architecture, green architecture, further melds science and art. It still contains the traditional forms and goals of architecture, but adds the additional goal of environmental responsibility and sustainability. Green architecture aims to reduce the human toll on the land that the buildings are built on and from. Being that, they combine much more science than traditional architecture. It is necessary that green buildings be the most efficient that they can be, and that means improving the efficiency of all components of the building, above all, insulation and heating, as well as methods of sustainable energy and waste water utilization. Another important aspect is the use of recycled materials instead of new ones, and the use of locally sourced materials in order to cut down on cost and pollution while in transport.

New Building Materials:

Preserving/Remodeling old buildings:

Art vs. Science in Green Architecture:

Green Architecture Forecast:


The Guggenheim in Bilboa: A melding of science and modern art:

Green Building concept:

sustainable apartments in australia:

Monday June 21, Day 1 by Eman D.

June 22, 2010 in Uncategorized by Sci | Art Nanolab

So today was the first lecture I had at this nanolab program, and from the beginning learned that there is a difference between nano-science and nano-tech. The latter is when the nano science is used to solve a problem.

Nanotechnology has to do a lot with finding what building blocks to use for the different categories of nanotech including bottom-up and top-down.

One is able to visualize the bottom-up technique by thinking of constructing a building out of bricks.

To understand the top-down technique, one can refer to carving a statue out of a larger slab of marble.

During the lecture, the idea of creating nano-motors caught my attention after having learned about proton synthase in plants in my biology class. I never thought about using the same method, which organisms use to create energy by creating proton gradients, to harvest energy for other applications. By being able to utilize this technique, we would be able to create probes that could power themselves by creating proton gradients in which we could use to attack cancer cells that metastasized, or something simpler like transporting some proteins to places they need to go.

Additionally, the applications of nanotechnology could have an immense advance in the environment. Water filtration systems could be further advanced to filter out chemicals and toxic waste from medicine that can’t be done with the current technology we have. Although there are hazards which nanotechnology could bring, the benefits outweigh the costs by far in my opinion, and caution should always be used while progressing further in the field.


Water filtration using nano technology:

Bottom up:

Periodical on top down approach:

How to build nanotech motors:

Cancer probes:

Day #1: Science + Art == ?

June 22, 2010 in Uncategorized by Jody Chen

Today was the first day at Sci|Art Nanolab. I really didn’t know what to expect, so most of it came as a surprise to me. I thought it was just going to be a boring program with a ton of lectures and then a final project. It came as a shock to me how absolutely compelling these subjects were and how much opinion I actually had on them. I was pretty afraid at first to hear the word “nanotechnology” and thought that I probably wouldn’t get a word that they were saying, but I am pretty glad that I did understand most of what was being explained to us!

The lecture of nanotechnology left me thinking with many questions… Is it possible to make something a billionth of a meter to great use in the future? Do we really have to be afraid of something terribly wrong happening? How many unknown functions of nanotechnology haven’t we discovered? How will nanotechnology affect our economy? Even if we do find an amazing breakthrough, will it be possible to use it? And many other questions, but the most important question I had was: What does this really have to do with art? I was pretty curious to see what a literal version of  “nanoart” looked like, and thus, I found these:

These are pictures of nano-sized molecules that scientists grew into the shapes of flowers. That really did amaze me to see what they could do, and what I never even bothered to think about before. Yet, this left me with another hanging question: Is any of this really relevant to our lifestyle? Will it manage to affect anything?  I hope in this course my question will be answered, and if not, I suppose it’s just another question of unreal importance.

<– Buckyball! (If that’s how you spell it)

Another topic we addressed today was the “two cultures” and the forming of the “third culture”. When I came into this course, I never gave much thought of the issue of “art” and “science” being totally unrelated topics, until we were introduced to it today. In this world today, it is believed that these two “cultures” do not live in harmony together, yet we have the issue of the “third culture”: the existence of these two cultures as one. Of course, being me, I had questions pop up that I never bother to get answered until I have to think about them again. These questions were… Is it really possible that something like Michelangelo’s  “David” and chemistry to be put together? (on a non literal term ex. “David” is made of this chemical and such) How will we combine these two together so that they exist as one central interest? Is it possible to go past the surface level of the combination (ex. I made art with some robot!) to an even deeper level of understanding? etc. Lastly, going off on another tangent: If we are able to combine the concept of “art” and “science” together, will it be possible to combine so many more other aspects of life? (ex. religion, though that one might have been already combined) Random ramblings.

To be blunt: Today was fun. The end. :)


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