Born in Copenhagen in 1916, Jens Risom was highly influenced by his award-winning architect-father, Sven Risom, who encouraged Jens to pursue studies in contemporary design. After completing his education in Denmark, Risom worked as a furniture and interior designer in architect Ernst Kuhn's Copenhagen office. Shortly after immigrating to New York in 1939, Risom became design director of Dan Cooper. He also designed for Georg Jensen.Read more
In 1941, Risom designed Knoll's first commissioned collection, including a range of simple birchwood chairs. After World War II, he founded his own company and was one of the first to manufacture furniture consisting of interchangeable standard components.
Risom is a trustee of the Rhode Island School of Design and was knighted by Queen Margrethe of Denmark in 1966.