Science Design Dialogue – Structural Colour

Structural colour is a new obsession of mine - the variety, complexity and simplicity of the mechanisms to create an incredible array of visual effects is astounding.

Looks like while I was away napping, Alena, Peter and Tim have gone ahead and started the first “Science Design Dialogue” around the topic of Structural Colour. There has been a lot of interest around this project, so I am looking forward to finding a way to weave all the different ideas together.

Starting with Structural Colour…

Peter kindly suggested an array of papers to begin with, and I simply posted the first one, which is an excellent review paper on structural colour. This topic has so much potential because colour is central to our highly visual culture, and yet surprisingly problematic. There are nasty pigments, such as red dyes that cause cancer, or plastics that are no longer recyclable due to their colouring. This could be an area of research within the dialogue that someone could champion.

So… anyone who is intrigued jump into the research and add your voice into the mix. And here are a few suggestions of how to get started.

  • At the beginning of the dialogue there are two great papers for reading. Anyone who is daunted or confused by the language of biology in the paper please post questions below, we have two superb biologists following already, who are both excellent teachers. I’m curious on one to know what kind of concepts require more explanation, as that could be an opportunity for asknature.org.
  • At the end of the dialogue we have simply started posting thoughts. This is an open free for all at this stage, just start wherever you are intrigued and contribute. Please comment beneath anyone else’s posts that you want to reply to, or start your own thread below.

A call for help…

The blog process we are using is very clunky and not the way I had imagined previously. I apologize in advance for any confusion within the site. If anyone has any suggestions of different platforms or processes that could be used, please send them my way and I’ll start experimenting.

Dive In

To view the dialogue so far follow this link.

To view the thinking behind this project click here.

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One Comment on “Science Design Dialogue – Structural Colour”

  1. […] personal awareness that I lacked a clear vision for the project. The Science and Design dialogues; explained here, and viewable here, was a loosely thought through initial exploration of “what if designers […]


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