By Liz White, UT staffLeverkusen, Germany-Oval shells made from Bayer MaterialScience's polyurethane materials offer a vision for "interior design of the future," according to the German polymer supplier. These shells, or "Einsein" installation centres, are made from BMS's polyurethane spray system Multitec, made using a short fibre spray process, and offer an interactive experience to visitors to the display, at the Cologne Museum of Applied Arts, from 16 Jan to 19 Feb 2006. The shells are suspended at shoulder height, and come in two parts, incorporating speakers, sensors and LCD displays on the inside. Passagen, the largest design event in Germany,opened 16 Jan 2006, and provides a forum for current design, living and lifestyle trends and directions. The city of Cologne will play host to over 100 shows by international designers and manufacturers and numerous other events, "once again turning the city into a design Mecca," said BMS. Passagen also event coincides with the start of the international furniture fair, IMM, at the Cologne Exhibition Center. To mark Passagen's opening, Realtime Research, a group of Cologne-based performers and artists headed by trumpeter Matthias Mainz, have come up with the interactive "Einsein" installation. On display at the Museum of Applied Arts, they will transform the museum's main hall, "using three-dimensional objects, assorted sounds and visual sequences in a sculptural organism of speech, space and sound".Prisma Tech Consulting GmbH in Neu-Ulm, Germany made the shells using Multitec, which can be sprayed into open or closed moulds and, BMS claims, "offers virtually unlimited design freedom." The added glass fibre makes the material used here very rigid, said BMS. If you pop your head into a shell from below, this reveals an enclosed interior in which sounds and images can be experienced as if through windows onto worlds outside the objects," said Mainz, in BMS announcement. The sensors allow you to personally influence what happens through the movements you make, and to change the audiovisual landscape. The mere flap of a butterfly's wings would be enough to have a lasting effect on the system." According to Mainz, the hollow bodies also represent opposites-'openness' and 'seclusion.' Anyone inside the shells can communicate with the outside world but at the same time has withdrawn into a private space. This is fostered, BMS said, by the flexible PU foam coating the inner surface. The outer surface of the shells is coated with a polyurethane paint based on BMS's coating raw materials. "The Einsein shells represent a kind of prototype for us because the ideas that went into them can be developed in many different ways," said Eckard Foltin, head of the Creative Center in Bayer MaterialScience's New Business segment. For example, the hollow bodies can be used to make comfortable rocking-chairs, using seat shells made from viscoelastic polyurethane foam. And innovative coverings could give the seats a completely different feel-for the home, meeting rooms or waiting areas at airports.Another use suggested by the Creative Center is height-adjustable communication zones in which give privacy in a busy pedestrian mall, or even an open-plan office. "