Francesca D'Este Sykes is the Creative and Founding Director of Studio D*Este. Francesca draws upon her background in Interior Design to inform her exploration of furniture design, questioning and redefining traditional furniture archetypes to suit contemporary needs. Francesca’s practice walks the line between her commercial focus and sustainable ethos. After graduating from Interior Design in 2011 she worked at ARM Architecture and Zenith Interiors, developing a core understanding of furnishing requirements for public spaces and workplaces. Her work customising commercial furniture fit-outs led her to pursue a career in furniture design, graduating from the RMIT Associate degree of Furniture Design in 2017.
Francesca is focused on producing high-quality contemporary pieces in partnership with local manufacturers, in order to reduce carbon emissions from international transport and waste from low-quality mass-produced furniture items. Through her studies at RMIT she explored unique and unusual materials that respond to the global consumption/waste crisis, developing a custom marbled material from recycled milk bottles and a 100% biodegradable light-transmitting “salt ceramic”. After graduating Francesca received the Space Tank “commercially ready product” award for her 2017 graduate piece, the “Hostie” outdoor trolley. She is currently in residence at the Space Tank workshop developing this prototype for commercial retail.