Copenhagen born Jens Risom is our “designer of interest” today, with his well-designed and well-crafted contemporary furniture. Jens is probably most famous at the moment because of the 1961 Playboy photo and article titled “Designs for Living” which featured famous architects and designers of the time George Nelson, Edward Wormley, Eero Saarinen, Harry Bertola, Charles Eames and Jens Risom himself. Even though Jens has had a sudden influx of interest over the last few years, he’s a fantastic furniture designer in his own right and is severely underrated in my opinion.
One thing I found fascinating is the fact that he’s currently experiencing a revival of his own furniture and has seen the whole trend thing go around in a full circle, something that most designers don’t get to experience as such. Although this could be true for modernist furniture at the moment, timeless furniture doesn’t go out of fashion and this is exactly what sort of furniture Mr Risom designs.
This specific imagery that I picked up is from Jens’ recent collection and collaboration with with Rocket and Benchmark, who got together with him last year to reproduce some of his most famous pieces. A lot of the them are redesigns or have been changed slightly for the better, both functional and aesthetic reasons. Although some of them are a bit too bright and flashy in my opinion I absolutely adore the shape and structure of the chairs and tables, Risom really has some great horizontal and vertical lines in his forms. Just check out the “kink” in the back of the chair leg!
Some of these are obviously new but I would highly recommend viewing the Rocket Gallery website where they’ve put together an array of Risom furniture designs from the past, great to go back in time. My personal favourite has to be the 600-series commissioned by Hans Knoll, these chairs employed surplus parachute straps due to a wartime shortage of materials and became one of the first ever Knoll chairs to be produced.
As you can see from my writing this man deserves much praise, he was and still is a real talent and inspiration. Another link that I will point you towards is one written by Dwell Magazine called “Fascinating Risom” which highlights his house and his thoughts on his career.