UM Project is a furniture design company. We are inspired by old-world ateliers and fully embrace the digital world.
Users & Makers

UM stands for Users and Makers. Not so long ago, life was made of simple connections. Knowing who bakes your bread, who tailors your suit or builds your house. This is what we do. Designing and manufacturing furniture, one piece at a time or in series for various clients, large and small, as well as for pieces sold in retail.

Photography: Francis Dzikowski/ Esto
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Industrial Craft

Our approach seamlessly bridges the way things are designed and the way they are made, combining cues from industry and craft and transcending the qualities of both the handmade and the mass-produced. Traditional techniques and archetypes are transformed for the modern eye and mind, with a special interest in material combination and connections.

Photography: Francis Dzikowski/ Esto
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Made Here

This is the tagline we originally developed for our friends at Voos in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We like it so much that we feel it applies to us. 85% of our work is manufactured in our shop and we rely on a proven network of local and regional partners to do the rest.

Photography: Francis Dzikowski/ Esto
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Shop & Studio
Our workplace is where we work of course, but also where we live – literally and figuratively. Come by for a visit. We will be happy to give you a full tour of our environment: part workshop, part lab and part consultancy.

Photography: Francis Dzikwoski / Esto
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The Way We Make Things
99% perspiration. 1% inspiration. We could not say it better. More seriously, every single one of our projects is the result of a symbiotic relationship between design and fabrication. That’s how we create, invent and push the limit.

Featured here: custom large fiberglass coffee table for Ghislaine Viñas award-winning project in Tribeca.
Photography: #1: Eric Laignel/ Interior Design Magazine – #2: Francis Dzikwoski / Esto – #3 and beyond: UM Project
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Founder: François Chambard

Combining his background in branding with his expertise in furniture, François started UM Project in 2004 as a hybrid between artisanship and consultancy. Before UM Project, François worked for international brand design consultancies including Zürich-based Zintztmeyer & Lux and Interbrand in New York. The start of UM Project was motivated by François’ interest in getting his hands dirty, but also by the recognition that the market was craving more personal, tangible products and experiences beyond the conceptual promise of brands.

In an earlier life François earned an MBA at the joint program of Marseille Business School in Marseilles, France and Universität Regensburg, Germany. François also attended RISD’s MFA program in Furniture Design, which he decided to leave midway to develop his own program, ultimately leading to the start of UM Project. More than schooling, François’ expertise and vision have been shaped by a collection of international experiences and by the strong influence of mentors. Those include Guillaume Saalburg in Paris, the revered glass designer and master at bridging art and commerce in a brilliant form; Scott Elias, business visionary, branding genius and guru of purposeful business; and Hank Gilpin, America’s top Studio Furniture Maker, full of wit, great advice and incredible support. François is married to Kathleen, who is UM Project’s tireless support system. They have two children, Una and Milan, who provide an incredible source of inspiration and have informally named the company through their first initials – making the point that a brand can have more than just one meaning, and that life and work are just one thing.
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