Pietro Franceschini: A Realm Between Art and Function

Contemporary design that is classically Italian.  

Photo by Hali Mason.

Mere months before the pandemic began, Pietro Franceschini decided to take a step back from his burgeoning career in architecture and return to his ancestral home outside Florence to focus on furniture design.

Balancing classical components, contemporary character influences, and the idea of neoteny, which in design refers to an aesthetic that embraces childlike whimsy, he developed concepts, and first sketches emerged. To create a story behind each object, Franceschini first converted his sketches into 3D renders, then collaborated with digital artists to put them into surreal environments. “I asked them to visualize my objects, but in a context, in surroundings that could help the object find its soul,” he says. When he shared his works on social media, galleries quickly reached out to represent him, and an international clientele soon coveted pieces that are distinctly of the moment yet utterly atemporal. He is still often asked if his works are real. “Some friends think that my pieces never existed. They think they’re all renders,” he says.