In 2007, Design Within Reach started collaborating with Risom to design a bench and reintroduce a chair and ottoman he originally designed in 1949 for the Caribe Hilton Hotel in Puerto Rico. Risom worked closely with them through every step, from reviewing prototypes, to adjusting tiny details, to advocating cost effective changes in the manufacturing process. The Jens Bench (2008) has a “floating” cushion that can be positioned to the left, right or center, leaving an area of exposed wood to the side. The result is a seat and built-in side table in one streamlined piece. Like all of the furniture by this iconic designer, the Jens Bench has a subtle Scandinavian sensibility that works with modern and traditional settings. Or, as Risom put it, “Good design means that anything good will go well with other equally good things.” The reversible cushion has a removable slipcover for cleaning.
Manufacturer: Design Within Reach
About Jens Risom
Known for introducing a minimalist, Scandinavian aesthetic to the United States in the 1930s, Jens Risom has been canonized as a master of mid-century modern design. Clean lines, light wood, and monochromatic upholstery characterize Risom’s signature style. After catching the attention of the well-known furniture dealer Hans Knoll in the early 1940s, Risom designed the first 15 pieces of the collection that launched Knoll’s renowned business. Risom later went on to establish his own namesake furniture collection, which became a household fixture. Former President Lyndon B. Johnson famously selected one of Risom’s chairs for the Oval Office.
Danish-American, b. 1916, Copenhagen, Denmark