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design by mathematics

the cōmodo x
FUNDAMENTAL Berlin

the cōmodo shines the spotlight on some of Europe’s finest artistic talent. This time, we’ve enlisted up-and-coming Berlin design agency Fundamental to create a series of vases and candleholders for our hotel, and had a chat with one of its two founders, Stephen K. Molloy.

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Hi Stephen, please tell us a bit more about yourself and Fundamental – how did you and your co-founder come up with the idea of “design by mathematics”?

We always had a child’s fascination for mathematics. Obviously there’s the simple stuff that we all understand, and then there are the patterns and theorems just beyond our grasp. That’s what inspires us, the tempting prospect of being able to unlock and decode.

The Comodo Design Hotel Bad Gastein 20201210 0958 Ret
Now tell us a bit about your works for the cōmodo. Where did you find inspiration? How does it fit into your design philosophy?

The glass works we made for the cōmodo are about organic beauty. We were inspired by the Willendorf Venus, a tremendously curvy fertility goddess made by prehistoric peoples in what is now Austria. The curves express something about femininity for us, generous and somewhat unpredictable. The glassmaker blows the glass into a regular mold, then the glass is removed and distorted by hand, giving it that essentially human physicality.

Comodo Restaurant Detail FAT TONY STUDIO
What is your perception of Bad Gastein? Did the location have any influence on your works?

It’s the mix of eras, the old and the Belle Epoche and the modern, feels familiar to a Berliner while still being exotic, the sort of dreamy Wes Anderson aesthetics. Mountains and mountain people can be a bit scary for people from the coastal plains, so it’s nice to have that touch of the outside world to fall back on.

Comodo Restaurant Detail 2 FAT TONY STUDIO
How much do you identify yourself with the places that feature your works – do you think that small details can make a difference in how we perceive spaces?

We always like to say that product design is more important than ever, because so few residential spaces are architect designed, it brings that touch of craft and material culture to a space. Obviously that doesn’t apply here, the cōmodo was beautifully designed in the 60s and has been lovingly brought back to life by another team of dedicated contemporary architects, so instead we are singing in a sort of a choir of other voices past and present. This is much nicer than being a lone voice, crying out in the wilderness.

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What does happiness mean to you?

Happiness is the longing for repetition.

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The Comodo Design Hotel Bad Gastein 20201210 0963 Ret