Modern Furniture, Lighting, and Home Accessories

Always Authentic

Jens Risom

Jens Risom

Denmark, 1916

“Furniture is not sculpture, nor is a particular design created only for visual appearance. Furniture clearly satisfy all requirements: It should be used, enjoyed and respected.” – Jens Risom

One of the first designers to bring traditional Scandinavian values of function and craftsmanship to the United States, Risom was part of a new vanguard that helped establish post-war America’s leadership role in the world of modern furniture design and manufacturing. 

Born in Copenhagen in 1916, Risom was highly influenced by his award-winning architect-father, Sven Risom, who encouraged Jens to pursue academic studies in business and contemporary design. Risom began his formal studies in furniture design under the direction at the School for Arts and Crafts in Copenhagen. From 1935 – 1938, along with classmate Hans Wegner, Risom learned the value of simplicity and utility.

In 1938 Risom decided to go to New York to further his studies while familiarizing himself with contemporary American furniture design. Risom soon discovered that there were no real opportunities for study or work in his field.  Instead, he worked freelance for the fabric and interior designer, Dan Cooper. In 1942 when the Hans Knoll Furniture Company was launched, 15 of the first 20 pieces – the “600” line – were pure Risom in design and construction with a subtle Scandinavian sense of modernity that created even more interest in the young designer’s abilities. These were the first and last pieces Risom would design for Knoll.

Jens Risom was drafted in to the US Army and then when the war ended decided that it was time to form his own company, Jens Risom Design, Inc. (JRD), which he launched in 1946. After nearly 25 steadfast years of design and manufacturing control, Risom sold his company. Today he lives in Connecticut and is still active in the design community.

17 Item(s)

17 Item(s)