COMA Studio was established in 2012 in Vienna, Austria. It specializes in glass and lighting designs, embracing new technologies and repurposing pre-existing vitreous fragments for contemporary, sculptural installations and lights. Notable projects to date include Lace #1 (2013), a mounted light made of glass components salvaged from a 1950s ceiling fixture from the once magnificent Hotel Bristol in Meran, Italy.
COMA’s cofounders, designers Magdalena Zeller (born 1981 in Meran, Italy) and Cornelis van Almsick (born 1978 in Berlin) first met at the opening of a Martino Gamper show at Vienna’s Walking Chair Studio in 2006. The pair fell madly in love and married exactly one year later. They describe their working relationship as “explosive and prolific.”
Zeller earned an engineering degree from Vienna’s Technical University in 2008; she went on to earn a Master’s degree in architecture from Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles in 2010. She has since worked on a variety of design projects ranging from the realization of retail prototypes for Christian Dior Cosmetics to façade design for department stores. She has also served as project manager for Vienna Design Week’s Passionswege presentations (2013), and was a project coordinator for the traveling exhibition WerkStadt Vienna – A City full of Design (2012-2014), a production of Vienna’s MAK (Museum of Applied Arts) Museum and Vienna Design Week. She was in charge of placement and coordination of the show, which subsequently traveled to Ventura Lambrate in Milan (2013), the New Institute in Rotterdam (2013), and the Kunstgewerbemuseum Dresden (2014).
Van Almsick earned an engineering degree from the Technical University Berlin in 2007; he was a student in Zaha Hadid’s Master Class at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna between 2003 and 2007. Since then, van Almsick has worked in the architectural offices of Michael Maltzan and Fernando Romero, developing projects varying from small-scale interiors to large-scale residences. He has also expanded his focus to freelance curatorial projects in contemporary art, exhibiting international artists like Daniel Richter and Alejandro Vidal, as well as Vienna-based artists such as Marcin Zarzeka and Heimo Zobernig.
The designers live and work in Vienna.