Francesco was born in Milan, where he still lives.
He spent his early childhood, during the war, in a small mountain village in Valtellina, where the contact with nature opened his mind to contemplation and art. He learnt to draw and paint from his father. In 1960 he met Cesare Cassina, who was the first to offer him the opportunity to practise his art in the industrial field. From 1969 to 1976, he was the director of the Centro Cesare Cassina, a design research laboratory sponsored by Cassina and C&B Italia (now B&B Italia) until 1972, and then by Cassina alone until 1976. It was here that he began to transfer the processes of his artistic practice into his design research, exploring new and original methods to enhance individual and collective creativity, and he involved architects and designers in the creation of products destined to enter Italian design history. In 1980 he established his own Design & Communications Centre, for design research and promotion.He designed the staging and props for the launch of new products and invented what would later become known as the event concept, giving the space being designed a theme and a title of its own. In 1992, he was invited by Massimo Morozzi to design for Edra. This marked the beginning of a unique and fascinating period that saw the invention and design of large sofas whose shapes and ideas used an essential, communicative language to express the essence of semantic precision, the joy of performance, interactive intention, curiosity and an interest in human behaviour. He prefers to design furniture and decor objects, and in particular sofas, because they call into play the Other, Space and Communication, the spheres in which he most loves to work, and that respond more than others to his questions about behaviour and relationships. The Annett collection for Magis, and Sofa, Brenno and Standard sofas for Edra, are the fruit of a new, expressive period in which quality and signifiers measure up against the demands of a broader segment of the market.