Wednesday - November 22, 2000

Artist and Bayer develop creative alternative to wallpaper and plaster
Polyurethane foam – An Ideal Material for Interior Design

Foto Bayer AG   The artist Fatima Vohs, together with Bayer, has developed a polyurethane-based system for interior design.
Photo: Bayer AG

The modern home is about to be given a facelift. The white woodchip wallpaper in the living room is set to make way for rustic roughcast plaster. A stucco-look feature right around the wall will bring a homely atmosphere to the kitchen and a plastic metal-look relief work of art would do wonders in the hall. This "improve your home" offensive is made possible thanks to a special polyurethane system based on Bayer raw materials and developed by the artist Fatima Vohs. The results achievable with this Favodec technology (contact: favodec) range from diverse rough surfaces to looks that resemble seamless textured wallpaper, to three-dimensional plastic motifs reminiscent of film backdrops or abstract paintings.

And the practical advantage, to tie in with the aesthetic benefits, is that all this is possible without turning your house into a building site. You can forget the bags of lime, the mixer, the dust and the dirt! And it's quick, too.

The artist, who long ago made a name for herself in the art world thanks to various individual exhibitions, hit on the somewhat unusual idea of using polyurethane foam on walls during a bout of creative experimentation. "I suddenly realized how much inspiring innovation there can be if you don't let the foam rise like a cake in the oven, but rather mix it into a type of paste." The transition from the limitations of the artist's canvas to house walls was simply a question of time.

Vohs went on to develop the material with Bayer chemists to produce the optimum product for interior design, a product that has since been patented. "Polyurethane is an extremely versatile material," says Bayer expert Dr. Manfred Kapps. "The classic applications are construction, coolers, automobiles and upholstery. But skis and shoe soles are also made from polyurethane." And he should know, since the company he works for not only invented the material now being used to make designer dreams a reality, but is also the world's largest producer of polyurethanes.

The new system opens up an entirely new world in interior design, with the potential extending far beyond that of conventional products. This is something that the first chambers of handicrafts are recognizing, including the new technology in the techniques examined by the painters' guild. "Actually, even home improvement enthusiasts can learn how to use the material and let their imagination run wild – albeit not to the same extent as professionals," says Fatima Vohs. Pigments or minerals such as sand can be added to the polyurethane foam to bring color and surfacing effects into play as well.

The artist happily invites people into her own home to show off a decorative flow of lava running down the wall. It looks like stone and feels like stone – but it's actually solidified polyurethane.

And what happens when the lava has gone out of favor and another foam creation is to take its place? No problem – this material, with its excellent adhesive properties and long-term flexibility, can easily be removed with a trowel, although any ugly cracks in the wall remain sealed up.

Quelle: Pressemitteilung der Bayer AG vom 22.11.2000