The British company developing the uses of a super black, light absorbent material called Vantablack S-VIS is working with leading architects as well as the British artist Anish Kapoor.
The founder and chief technology officer of Surrey NanoSystems, Ben Jensen, says that the company is working with “some large and well respected global architects,” and that the coating is already available for “suitable applications”. He declined to name the architects involved “due to prior agreements”. For the time being the first star architect who could trump Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, whose preferred paint was a dramatic Detroit Graphite black, remains confidential.
The company, which has been working with Kapoor since 2014, has agreed a controversial exclusive licencing deal with the sculptor to develop the artistic uses of a sprayable version of a material that traps nearly all light falling on its surface.
In a statement, Kapoor says that the controversy over his use of Vantablack S-VIS is “misinformed”. The infinitesimally fine coating “does not come out of a tube”, he says and its application as an ultra-thin layer of carbon nanotubes requires a specialised technical process. “Our collaborative research uses this blackest of black materials to give form to the immaterial,” he adds.
Jensen says that luxury watch makers and car makers are also collaborating with Surrey NanoSystems, which is based in the south east of England.