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Edra and the Campana Brothers

October 27, 2008

Besides continuing work on my designs this week, I’ve had the great fortune to meet and spend time at the events launching and consolidating the Edra brand within the range of beautiful furniture and products at Space Furniture.

To kick off the trilogy of events, I attended the public lecture “High Tech – Handmade” by Massimo Morozzi and Fernando & Humberto Campana at the State Library of Queensland on Sunday evening. Presented by Edra, Space furniture and Bombay Sapphire, we were treated to an evening of storytelling.

Massimo, the Director of Edra, spoke about the importance of being situated in Tuscany, which is known for its artisanal crafts from leather and metal to wood and glass. He spoke of his serendipitous discovery of the Campana Brothers in Brazil and the development of an intense working relationship and great friendship. Massimo also talked about the projects he has developed with The Campana Brothers and other key pieces in the Edra range. The Campanas then spoke about their journey from unknown designers working with materials and process to create their unique pieces that are inspired by their local environment. These were all such intensely genuine talks. They truly captured their unanimous love of design and their excitement at overcoming the challenges that transpire when taking an idea from dream to reality.

Today I went to the luncheon at Space where Massimo took us on a tour of the showroom and talked about the individual pieces. This is where we got to touch, sit in and experience the Edra products. Designed by the Campanas, I loved the Jenette chair with its 200 ‘spaghetti’ bristles that truly support your back and make for the most comfortable dining experience.

Then, there is the Boa Sofa, created from an 120 metre long velvet tube which is filled and then entwined into the most luxurious talking piece. Apparently it can sit (or lounge) 17 people!

One of my favourite pieces is the Favella chair, assembled from timber off-cuts. They are all handmade in Brazil and each one is unique (all the other pieces designed by the Campanas are made at Edra, Italy). The inspiration was the Favella shanties on the outskirts of San Paulo, Brazil, which are constructed from refuse – wood, metal and fabric found by their inhabitants. These people have made ‘something out of nothing’, said Fernando Campana, which is exactly what the Campanas have done with the Favella chair.

Tonight I popped into Space furniture (again!) for the launch of the Swarovski crystal covered Flap Diamond sofa designed for Edra by Francesco Binfaré. Truly glamorous, this piece is made from thousands of specially cut Swarovski crystals, seated in a Kevlar fabric. It is a sight to behold, and comfortable too!

Besides being absolutely inspired by the beautiful pieces designed by the Campana Brothers and their complete humility, I have taken away from these two days the sense that anything is possible and that the most simple ideas are often the most stunning.

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