Nano Supermarket

The Future of Nano

The NANO Supermarket (brainchild of Koert van Mensvoort‘s Next Nature) presents speculative nanotech products that may hit the shelves within the next ten years: medicinal candy, interactive wall paint, a wine which taste can be altered with microwaves, a twitter implant, invisible security spray and much more. Visit the shop, taste & test our products and experience the impact of nanotechnology on our everyday lives.

Nanotechnology is an emerging field of science that deals with the manipulation of structures on an atomic and molecular scale – the size of one billionth of a meter. It is often seen as a trend in material science, but has much deeper implications. Nanotechnology radically intervenes with our notion of what is natural. It may realize the dreams people have of themselves and significantly improve our lives, but may also have its downsides.

The NANO Supermarket features debate–provoking nanotech products submitted by designers, technologists and artists from six different countries. They were selected by a jury of nanotech experts and design experts. Our products are both innovative and useful as well as uncanny and disturbing. They function as scenarios for potential nano futures, that help us decide what nano future we actually want.”
– source: Next Nature

Together with David Menting the final prototypes based on the entries of all the designers where constructed. Using a broad range of tools and skills, these models needed to sport an exquisite esthetical and functional appearance due to the high demands of the exhibition.

The Nano Supermarket

The Development

The following part provides on overview of the activities needed in producing the total exhibition that is the Nano Supermarket. The first section covers the professional prototypes, followed by the work done by other talented professionals in various other fields.


The first and less complicated models was the NanoLift by Orestis Tsinalis. A tool to shape your face according to your desires by instructing a nano-fluid previously injected.

To accommodate the already sleek packaging, a stainless modernistic lipstick was created. With the help of Wiel Pijls’ lathe, the final model was cut, turned down, and polished.

Skin Paper

The second prototype concerned Skin Paper by Vanessa Harden and Tommaso Lanza. Grown from your own skin cells, the paper is used to test cosmetics or write a letter to your loved ones.

It is cast from silicone into a very thin layer. This sheet is treated with various skin toned make up to make it more realistic.

The Necklace

Another one of the more complicated models was The Necklace by Marco van Beers. The pendants of the necklace use a tiny sample of your blood to showcase the process of curing from cancer. It symbolizes your recovery as a story to keep for the rest of your life.

The pendants where created on the lathe using a stainless steel backplate. The front is made of brass. The inside uses colored paper and a matching piece of glass to cover it all up.
Finally, stainless steel rods where bent in place to create the iconic shape of The Necklace.

Twitter Implant

The Twitter Implant by Hendrik-Jan Grievink is monitoring device. It watches all the processes in your body and alerts your doctor when things are not in order.

First, a 3D model was designed. A 3D printer was used to produce the tooth. After cleaning the left over residue it was covered in multiple layers of lacquer. The inside houses a small blue LED which blinks rather erratically. It is designed and printed in such a way that when the LED lights up, you can see the “t” of the Twitter logo shine through the tooth. Next to the tooth is a small display showcasing the kind of tweets this implant will create (you can see the printed tooth in the upper right corner).


And finally the best prototype was the Wallsmart by Jonas Enqvist. It is paint able to change color. This is done via your smartphone and Wallsmart app.

The paint bucket houses a complicated set of electronics able to communicate wirelessly with a smartphone. Signals from the smartphone’s app are sent to the paint bucket’s LEDs. These change color in such a way that it looks less like a light and more like a material’s color (all credits go to David Menting on this one).

The Truck

The final exhibition was based on a Dutch SRV truck (commonly used as a mobile shopping store). Built and designed by Maze de Boer, it is a full-fledged mobile exhibition with black and white vinyl graphics on the outside. The interior sports white containers for all the products, including a small registry for purchasing products.

The Folder

The graphic team consisting of Hendrik-Jan Grievink, Ruben Daas, and Michael Kluver created the folder which was distributed alongside the regular commercial folder material in the neighborhood. You can find it online here.

The Commercial

Studio Smack was commissioned to produce a commercial, which used a small range of the products from the Nano Supermarket.


completed in: October, 2010
time spent on project: enough to finish all the nano details
stakeholders: Next Nature
links: published in the Dutch NOS News, on Dutch Radio 1. Blogged at, Omroep Brabant, Reformatorisch Dagblad, Bright, psfk, the Pop-Up City, Nanotechnology Now,’s Beyond The Beyond, DutchDFA, Philips Design Probes, Imaginary Foundation, and the Picture Marketing Blog. Presented at TEDxBrainport by Koert van Mensvoort
exhibited at: during the Dutch Design Week (23 – 31 October 2010), at the NEMO Amsterdam (27 January 2011), at the Leidseplein in Amsterdam (28 January – 2 February 2011), in Pamplona Spain (9 – 14 March 2011), at the Evoluon in Eindhoven (17 March 2011), at the TEDxBrainport event Eindhoven (13 May 2011), during the Cultuur op de Campus event in Nijmegen (19 May 2011), at the Night of Art & Science Groningen (4 April 2011), at the Picnic Festival Amsterdam (14 – 16 September 2011), at the TU/eXperience (02 October 2011), and at the STW conference Nieuwegein (6 October 2011)

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