Mid Century Design Icon Jens Risom Dies at 100

Mid Century Design Icon Jens Risom Dies at 100

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Tara Bellucci
Dec 12, 2016
(Image credit: Knoll)

Jens Risom, one of the last living pioneers of mid century modern design, died on Friday at his home in New Caanan, Connecticut. He was 100.

Danish-born Risom moved to the US in 1939 at the age of 23, and just a few years later was instrumental in Knoll's debut furniture collection, designing 15 of the 20 pieces for the 1942 catalog. Many were reissued by the company in 1994.

(Image credit: Knoll)

Risom's Scandinavian design aesthetic helped usher American furniture into the mid century style. One of his most notable contributions is his minimal lounge chair, which is crafted from a simple maple frame and discarded military parachute straps.

The centanarian was working well into his later years; just last year he collaborated with DWR to reissue his T.710 side table as well as on the Ven storage collection with designer Chris Hardy.

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