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the cōmodo x
Iwo Borkowicz

Polish artist Iwo Borkowicz has always held a deep fascination for the silly side of life. As an architect and sculptor, he co-founded JEJU.studio to convey the relationship between classical beauty and mundane awkwardness – in spaces, places and art. His work draws on peculiar forms made with simple lines, raw materials and honest detailing to tell stories about some of the most important issues of our time. For the comodo he created a striking sculpture, inspired by Bad Gastein’s gold and snow, and their finite availability.

Snowguarantee Iwo Borkowicz Workshop 5 Websize
"I rediscovered the silly, the awkward, the absurd. I try to flavour my work with this."

On your website you raise the question; can a building tell a joke? What do you mean by that?

For most of my life, I fetishised seriousness and the pseudo-intellectual view of reality - from political views to music, architecture and art. Though I am still attached to a factual perception of everyday, as well as creative process, I rediscovered the silly, the awkward, the absurd. I try to flavour my work with this.

Snowguarantee Iwo Borkowicz Workshop 3 Websize
"My sculptural work often revolves around the topic of the anthropocene - the relation between us and the rest of the planet."

Coming to your artwork for the Comodo. Where did you find inspiration? How does it fit into your design philosophy?

My sculptural work often revolves around the topic of the anthropocene - the relation between us and the rest of the planet. Here, the topic of the climate crisis drives the narrative.

Bad Gastein, where the sculpture is located, is a beautiful alpine town. I was looking for a platform that is locally relevant and would allow for emotionally-potent storytelling.

Snowguarantee Iwo Borkowicz Workshop 1 Websize

The image of the nearby Moltezoller glacier being wrapped in special blankets to slow down its melting struck the exactly right chord. On top of that, I dove into alpine snowfall stats, which clearly reveal a trend of declining snowfall every decade. Snow, from a free and abundant ressource, will soon be a luxury.

It is not the first time in Bad Gastein’s history where the city runs out of a crucial resource. It’s first prosperity period was built upon mining gold, which is mined no longer. I decided to connect those two stories by building a working, golden weather station.

What does happiness mean to you?

"Happiness is the intersection of calm and engagement. To quote Caroline Polachek, it’s about being 'both free and safe' "
Snowguarantee Iwo Borkowicz 1 Websize
About the artist

Borkowicz's work includes the widely publicised ‘Totems’ sculptures in Poznan, Poland, as well as the ‘Long Live the Palm’ installation in Agueda, Portugal. In 2017, he was cherrypicked as one of ‘20 young designers to shape the future of design’ by Design Indaba. His latest work includes a piece for the comodo – a striking sculpture, inspired by Bad Gastein’s gold and snow, and their finite availability.

Snowguarantee Iwo Borkowicz Details 4 Websize