meet the makers | May 23, 2024 |
Emotional resonance reigns supreme for this Parisian furniture designer

Franck Genser’s furniture and lighting designs are rooted in emotion. Whether it’s a wild, wobbly-looking bookcase or a console table with legs shaped like a walking giraffe’s, the Parisian designer crafts practical pieces with a point of view. “My creative process is rooted in my feelings,” he tells Business of Home.

Franck Genser
Franck GenserCourtesy of Franck Genser

Growing up in northeast France, he started going to antique auctions at a young age and fell in love with the decorative arts, especially 19th century art nouveau pieces. The era was fueled by the organic motifs and detailed artistry that defined the Arts and Crafts movement, and featured designs punctuated by fluid lines, symbolic shapes and faunal motifs—elements that Genser regularly employs in his present-day designs. “I’m driven by a vision to merge timeless elegance with contemporary sensibilities,” he says.

After years of percolating on sketches and prototypes, he launched his namesake studio in 2016 with a series of intricately hand-made pieces, such as a tubular, serpent-shaped armchair upholstered in faux fleece and a futuristic wine case clad in an elaborate coquille d’oeuf motif. “I couldn’t find furniture on the market that offered the same sense of intimacy,” he explains. “I think people should be able to connect with their environments, and more importantly, with beautiful things.”

Inside Franck Genser’s Parisian showroom apartment
Inside Franck Genser’s Parisian showroom apartmentCourtesy of Franck Genser

The bulk of Genser’s furnishings is made from traditional materials such as walnut, parchment and beechwood. With the help of his team of engineers and craftsmen, he uses an array of artisanal finishes—including hot bronze patinas and sequin-stitched fabrics—to bring each piece to life. “These features not only exude timeless elegance, but also possess unique characteristics that add depth and richness to our designs.”

The Hollywood commode and Splash wall light
The Hollywood commode and Splash wall lightCourtesy of Franck Genser

Though materiality plays a pivotal role in his work, form—more specifically, statement-making silhouettes—takes center stage. “Each piece is meticulously crafted to strike a balance between visual appeal and functionality, ensuring that it can seamlessly integrate into its intended space while enhancing the overall living experience,” says the artisan. “That being said, I believe that form in itself is a function—furniture doesn’t always have to be useful; if it makes you feel good, then it serves a purpose.”

Currently hard at work on a selection of sculptural, French heritage–inspired designs, he continues to push the boundaries of product design by experimenting with cutting-edge technologies. “The possibilities offered by new tools like 3D printing—combined with the research surrounding the reuse of materials—are leading me to envision a whole new approach to production,” he says.

Since its inception, Genser’s studio has evolved significantly, expanding its reach and influence while remaining rooted in quality craftsmanship and, of course, lightheartedness. “Though we have grown in size and scope, our commitment to creating meaningful, emotionally resonant pieces remains unchanged,” says the artisan. “We want to change the way people relate to furniture—and make them feel good about design.”

If you want to learn more about Franck Genser, visit his website or Instagram.

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