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May 8, 2016
Midcentury master Jens Risom celebrates his 100th birthday today! In honor of the legendary Danish-American designer, we gather some of our favorite Risom stories to be featured on Dwell.com.

In 2009, Dwell editor-in-chief Amanda Dameron joined Jens Risom on his return to his 1967 prefab off the coast of Rhode Island, where he's been readying it for his family's next generation. The A-framed structure, shown here, is bordered by a low stone wall, an aesthetic element that appears throughout the land. Check out a video of Jens at home here.

Originally appeared in 10 Modern Gables
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Portrait of designer Jens Risom at home

“Architecture, to me, is the most beautiful of the arts," says Risom, pictured in 2009 at his family's Block Island summer home. "I always knew that I wanted to design, but only [if I could] create products over which I had total control.”

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Jens Risom's Block Island Family Retreat
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Widely known as the first chair to be designed for Knoll©, the Risom Lounge Chair  brought the natural materials and understated form of Scandinavian design to large-scale U.S. production. The streamlined maple-hardwood frame is joined with mortise-a

Shortly after his arrival to the United States in 1939, Risom met Hans Knoll, the founder of Knoll, with whom he would work to produce some of the company's earliest interior and furniture designs. Widely known as the first chair to be designed for Knoll, this iconic Risom Lounge Chair brought the natural materials and understated form of Scandinavian design to large-scale U.S. production. It makes use of few materials widely available during wartime—surplus army webbing and parachute straps—wrapped them around a supple, curving wooden frame.

Originally appeared in Jens Risom Collection at Design Within Reach
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Boston renovation with Fitzfelt prototype felt mural, carpet by Flor, chair and table by Jens Risom for Knoll.

Risom has long graced the pages of Dwell—it's hard to miss his classic modern designs. In this Boston family residence, a custom prototype mural by FilzFelt and a carpet is by Flor join a child-size chair and and Amoeba table Risom designed for Knoll.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Boston Renovation Accents Minimalist White with Rich Felt Murals
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Manhattan live work loft

Can you spot the Risom in this picture? It's the oversize conference table in Bob Weinstein’s live/work Manhattan loft, and it “supposedly came from the conference room of the Kinney Shoe Corporation,” he says. Weinstein uses the table to display part of his Scandinavian pottery collection.

Photo by 
Courtesy of 
Justin Reid
Originally appeared in A Mid-Century Manhattan Loft
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Chris Hardy and Jens Risom portrait

At age 99, last year Risom collaborated with Chris Hardy on a collection with Design Within Reach, which showed at WantedDesign. The midcentury-inspired Vens (Danish for "friends") storage collection, updated by Hardy, bears the indelible mark of the old master. 

Originally appeared in What It's Like to Work With 99-Year-Old Design Icon Jens Risom
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Ven storage collection by Chris Hardy and Jens Risom for Design Within Reach

The Ven collection first began when Risom approached Design Within Reach with the idea of revisiting one of his older cabinet designs. The result is a series of customizable storage pieces that honor Risom's designs, updated with Hardy's contemporary twist.

Originally appeared in What It's Like to Work With 99-Year-Old Design Icon Jens Risom
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risom residence outside full view 0

In 2009, Dwell editor-in-chief Amanda Dameron joined Jens Risom on his return to his 1967 prefab off the coast of Rhode Island, where he's been readying it for his family's next generation. The A-framed structure, shown here, is bordered by a low stone wall, an aesthetic element that appears throughout the land. Check out a video of Jens at home here.

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