The project

In recent years, the invention of new microscopes has allowed scientists to see and manipulate matter at infinitesimal levels. These new tools such as tunneling, atomic force or fluorescence microscopes, have revolutionized physics, chemistry and biology and offering a new view on our world

But what does “see” mean for a physicist at the scale of an atom compared to our usual perceptions? How to apprehend these gigantic scale changes? How to manipulate matter at the nanometer size? So many questions where the eye of designers can bring a new day.

In this project, twelve students were proposed to approach this broad topic with the supervision of both designers and physicists. Some have created educational and outreach tools in order to popularize science for the general public. Others have conducted personal researches inspired by science and its methods to create a design object.

This workshop is the fourth of its kind with the same science and design partners, after one on superconductivity, on quantum physics and on light. It’s developed this time in the framework of a research program ANR “DESCITECH” in collaboration with ENSCI –Les Ateliers and research labs, which aims to better understand what is at stake when physicists and designers work together and explore these new territories in between design, science and popularization of science.

Making off


The project “Catch the invisible” is a partnership between the ENSCI-Les Ateliers and physicists from Université Paris Sud and CNRS. It was supported by the ANR Descitech.

The design

Atelier Design et Recherche : François Azambourg, Baptiste Viala, Véronica Rodriguez
Associated researcher : Anne-Lyse Renon
Consultant : Delphine Chevrot
Photo teacher : Véronique Huyghe

The students

Paul Bonlarron, Miren Etchegoin-Lasnier, Lucie Jeudy-Quinqueneau, Laure Koroma-Le Bras, Maëlys de La Ruée, Clément Rosenberg, Chloé Saksik, Kensa Traoré, Léo Verstiggel, Gaston Vidalie, André Zsigmondy, Laurène Zyskind

The Physics

Université Paris-Sud/CNRS : Julien Bobroff


Groupe La Physique Autrement

Mail : laphysiqueautrement(at)