Kate Nichols is a San Francisco-based painter who became fascinated with the concept of structural color—that is, “color that derives from a substance’s geometric structure rather than its chemical composition.” These structures are measured in nanometers, requiring equipment not generally to be found in an artist’s studio. So in 2008, Nichols joined Alivisatos Lab at UC Berkeley to work as the lab’s first artist-in-resident. There, she gets to synthesize nanoparticles that exhibit structural color in order to create her artworks.
How exactly do you plan to change the world?
In our culture there is a false dichotomy between science and art. Were this rift to be healed, the creative power thereby unleashed would be transformative.