Franz Schuster (1892 – 1976) was an Austrian Furniture Manufacturer.
He studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Vienna under Heinrich Tessenow.
He was active in Vienna from the 1910s. As part of a municipal program to construct workers’ homes after World War I, he designed a small row in the Viennese suburb Laaer Berg. At this time, he also produced his modular stacking furniture. In 1927, he settled in Frankfurt. Schuster worked with Ernest May to create a furniture range in the Rationalist mode suitable to the small scale of May’s housing.
Schuster was the artistic supervisor of the ‘Deutschen Hausratgesellschaften’ (Household Furnishings Group), introduced an instalment payment plan for poor homeowners, and created a range of modular furniture in wood. In c1928, Schuster began to collaborate with Walter Knoll, Stuttgart. By 1930—31, his range of unit furniture for the state-supported and owner-occupied homes greatly expanded to include case goods, tables, chairs, and shelving. It was sold by the Hausrat- gesellschaften and subsequently by Edwin Behr in Wendlingen, Stuttgart. This range may have been the basis of Serge Chermayeff ‘s Plan range of unit furniture. Manifesting the more Utopian aspects of the design philosophy of the 1920s and 1930s, Schuster’s furniture was lauded as heralding ‘a new way of life’ in pamphlets and journals of the early 1930s.