François Chastanet (1975) is an architect & graphic designer, co-founder of the studio TypoMorpho based in Bordeaux, France. Teaches graphic design and typography since 2002 in the Graphic Design Department of the Institut Supérieur des Arts de Toulouse / ISDAT, and jointly from 2010 to 2012 in the Design Department of the École Supérieure d’Art et de Design de Saint Étienne / ESADSE.
Writes on contemporary epigraphy, with a special interest in the visual communication of urban cultures. Published in 2007 a work of reference entitled Pixação: São Paulo Signature, a photographic survey documenting the relation between urban signature, body and architecture and a second work in 2009 at Dokument Press entitled Cholo Writing: Latino Gang Graffiti in Los Angeles. Laureate in 2011 of the «Hors Les Murs» international program of the Institut Français, published in 2013 at Dokument Press a new documentary project entitled Dishu: Ground Calligraphy in China about contemporary calligraphic practices in Chinese public spaces.
«Dishu: Ground Calligraphy in China» is the first survey on contemporary calligraphic practices in Chinese public spaces, documented during the summer of 2011 in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenyang. It takes the form of a major photographic essay, which traces the roots of this handwriting phenomenon and its development in Chinese society, analyses in detail the home-made writing tools specially designed for street lettering and explores its possible transposition into other writing cultures.