Zanat was formally launched as a design brand only in 2015 and it has come a long way since. Zanat’s roots, however, are to be found much earlier in history. It started more than a century ago when Gano the great grandfather of Zanat’s founders, Orhan and Adem Niksic, stumbled upon what once was a primitive hand-carving technique that originated from a small village close to our hometown of Konjic, just south of Sarajevo on the Neretva River.
Gano learned the carving technique from some pioneer woodcarver-entrepreneurs who (thanks to visionary educational support of the Austro-Hungarian empire’s regime that ruled Bosnia at the time) perfected the village technique beyond recognition and teamed up with already established furniture producers in Sarajevo, such as Buttazoni-Venturini, who exhibited hand-carved furniture pieces at fairs and exhibitions in Milan, Paris (Millennium exhibition of 1900), Vienna.
Since the beginning of his career (a 1990 graduate of Paris’ ENSCI-Les Ateliers, Paris Design Institute), Jean-Marie Massaud has been working on an extensive range of works, stretching from architecture to objects, from one-off project to serial ones, from macro environment down to micro contexts. Major brands such as Axor, Cassina, Christofle, Poliform, Toyota have solicited his ability to mix comfort and elegance, zeitgeist and heritage, generosity and distinction.
Beyond these elegant designs, his quest for lightness – in matters of essence – synthesize three broader stakes: individual and collective fulfillment, economic and industrial efficiency, and environmental concerns. “I’m trying to find an honest, generous path with the idea that, somewhere between the hard economic data, there are users. People.”
His creations, whether speculative or pragmatic, explore this imperative paradigm: reconciling pleasure with responsibility, the individual with the collective.