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One of the first designers to bring the 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 on May 8, 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. 


1904 Sketches by Sven Risom

After completing two years at the Business College of Niels Brock in Copenhagen, Risom worked briefly for Danish architect Ernst Kuhn and also for a small design studio/shop in Stockholm that specialized in residential furniture.  While in Sweden Risom gained additional experience in the design department at Nordiska Kompaniet (NK) where he was further exposed to the work of Bruno Mathsson and others including the Finnish architect, Alvar Aalto.