Manufactured, off-the-shelf wallpapers both vintage and modern tend to fall into two categories: they are either blank, and thus flat, or they fake being three-dimensional, but … again tend to fail (or fall flat, as it were) at truly tricking the eye into sensing depth. This third type is something entirely different.
Of their work, Surrealien writes: “Papering our rooms is still a rather nonsensitive business. We ignore the architectural preconditions. Windows, doors and switches tear holes in patterns that actualy ask for a continuity of unbroken surface. Later on, pictures and cupboards are dashed on top of it. So three layers compose the visual appearance of walls ? without reacting on each other.”
Of course, patterns are what they are for good reasons – replicating this on any kind of mass-produced scale would be nigh-on impossible, at least it would have been prior to the growing popularity of large-format and 3D home printers. Now, anything could happen. Surrealien takes architectural plans, feeds them into a computer program and actually generates custom solutions for a given interior space.
“Our conception blurs the border between architectural wall structure and applied interior decoration. Contrary to traditional mural painting, we do not create individual objects of art but generate functions that are adapted to the particular infrastructure of a room.” The interest, though, goes beyond wall surfaces or home decoration – other Surrealien projects include interactive design and installation art.