In 1942 when the Hans Knoll Furniture Company was launched, 15 of the first 20 pieces – the “600” line – were pure Risom in design and construction with a subtle Scandinavian sense of modernity that created even more interest in the young designer’s abilities. These were the first and last pieces Risom would design for Knoll.
First Knoll logo, catalog and sketches by Jens Risom
Married and with a young daughter, Risom, like many of his contemporaries, was soon drafted into the U.S. Army. Initially planning to work within the Army’s Industrial Design Unit at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland, Risom eventually joined the Army’s Civil Affairs Department. Arriving in Great Britain, he was then assigned to the Headquarters of Third Army under General George Patton where he began training for the upcoming European invasions.
Risom stayed with the Third Army as it made its way though France and Germany until the end of the war. Returning to New York, Jens briefly continued his free-lance consulting with Hans Knoll, who had by then married Florence Shust and renamed the company H. G. Knoll Associates.
But Jens had also decided that it was time to form his own concern, Jens Risom Design, Inc. (JRD), which he launched on May 1st, 1946.