The history of the Olympic Games charts sporting prowess, but traditionally the games also celebrated culture. Back to the beginning of Olympia in 776 BC, the games involved athletes, sculptors, philosophers, poets, musicians and scholars in what was described as ''the manifestations of the harmoniously educated man'.
The Modern Olympics has the Olympic Arts Festival which was first held at the Melbourne Olympic Games in 1956 to highlight the city's artistic and cultural story. While the highly sought-after design commissions for games venues has catapulted architects including Zaha Hadid, Enric Miralles, Santiago Calatrava, Herzog & d Meuron and Ai Weiwei onto television screens around the world, and at the same time cemented their careers.
At the Rio Olympics in 2016 Italian furniture maker Edra was invited to be part of the Casa Italia project, an arts initiative highlighting the design excellence behind the 'Made in Italy' label.
Located on a small island off the Rio de Janeiro coast, the famed Clube Costa Brava building, designed in 1962 by Brazilian architect Ricardo Menescal, was transformed with Italian artwork, a sculpture garden and furniture to create the atmosphere of an Italian home for athletes and delegates. Highlighting the cultural exchange between Italy and Brazil, key pieces from the Edra collection included furniture by the group's longtime collaborators Brazilian locals Fernando and Humberto Campana.
Bringing together the cultural richness of the Campana's work and the craftsmanship of the Edra brand, the Favela armchair and the Brasilia table embody the philosophy of the Casa Italia project which received the award for the most prestigious and representative headquarters of national excellence during the Rio Olympic Games.
The Edra collection is available at Space Furniture: Space Australia – Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane