Running into legendary designer Jens Risom in the halls at DWR headquarters is but one of the pleasures of working here. We recently collaborated with him to bring the Risom Desk (2012) – “the little one,” as he calls it – back into production in North America. Originally designed in 1968 for his own home in New Canaan, Conn., this small-space solution “is really a writing surface,” says Risom. “Let’s just call it a ‘desk’ in quotations.” Crafted of solid American walnut or oak and rich black or chocolate leather, “it’s a handsome piece of decoration at which you sit, at which you study, at which you read books ... if people do that any more.” The drawer interior has a removable solid wooden tray for desk supplies. Ships fully assembled. Made in U.S.A.
Solid North American walnut or oak; black or chocolate leather with Crypton® protective finish.
To his bewilderment, when Jens Risom emigrated from Denmark to the United States to study contemporary American furniture design, finding opportunity to do so was not an easy task. The year was 1939, and at the age of 23 Risom already had attended business school, studied at Copenhagen's School for Arts and Crafts and designed furniture for Kaare Klint and architect Ernst Kuhn.
With a career that has spanned nearly 70 years and is still in the making, Risom made his mark designing one of the first chairs to be manufactured by Knoll®. Constructed of a birch frame and surplus parachute straps, the chair made the best of the few materials available during WWII. When Risom began his collaboration with Knoll in 1941, they set about on a tour of the new "modern" home to gain insight into what would be needed to market a line of modern furniture. After consulting with the architects along the way, Risom was encouraged to try out a few of his Scandinavian-inspired designs that fit the modern bill and the new modern home. The result was the Jens Risom collection, which was featured in one of the first Knoll catalogs. Read more >