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KnollStudio®

Risom Amoeba Coffee Table

Item #643TA

Jens Risom 1943

Jens Risom’s furniture, the first collection designed for and manufactured by Knoll, helped establish the company as an early provider of modern design in America. The Amoeba Coffee Table's combination of gentle curves and geometric angles exhibit Risom’s Scandinavian design sensibilities.

 

Starts at (retail): $1030

 

Call to Purchase

Customer Service: 800 343-5665

NYC Home Design Shop: 212 343-4190

 

Design & Plan

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Details

Construction and Details
  • Top available in 3 finishes in maple or walnut hardwood
  • Top is veneered with cathedral pattern with poplar cross bands and backing
  • Core and edge are solid hardwood lumber
  • Legs and apron are solid maple or walnut
  • Lacquer finish
Sustainable Design and Environmental Certification
  • GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified®

Dimensions

Originally known as the 600 Series, the Risom Collection was the first furniture ever commissioned and manufactured by the Hans Knoll Furniture Company. Prior to meeting Jens Risom, Hans Knoll operated as an importer and distributor of European Designs. Knowing that the war would disrupt his supply lines, Hans sought a designer to develop original Knoll Furniture that could be produced locally in New York. Simultaneously, Jens Risom was looking for a salesman to promote his work. Luckily they found each other in 1941, and the two young men — just 23 and 24 — embarked on a four-month tour of the United States, getting a sense of exactly what designers and architects were looking for from modern furniture. Risom later recalled: “There was no furniture, nothing to be had…everybody was anxious to buy everything they could get their hands on.”

With this in mind, he designed a complete line of simple modern chairs, tables and storage that could be made locally and, more importantly, with materials not limited by wartime supply restrictions. Risom’s design approach was perfectly suited for the challenge: “Design is a creative effort to successfully solve problems; ‘good design,’ therefore, is a ‘good solution’ which must satisfy the many requirements.” The resulting furniture, which Risom described as, “very basic, very simple, inexpensive, easy to make,” was made from essentially scrap wood and discarded nylon webbing from parachute factories.

The first true Knoll designer, Jens Risom joined the young Hans Knoll Furniture Company in the early 1940s as the sole designer of interiors and furniture. Born in Denmark to the well-known architect Sven Risom, Jens worked in Stockholm for one year before graduating from the prestigious Kundstandvaerkerskolen in Copenhagen.

Risom left Denmark for the United States in 1938 and, for two years, served as Director of Interior Design at the studio of Dan Cooper, Inc. in New York before starting a freelance career specializing in furniture and textiles. It was during this time that he met Hans Knoll. The pair collaborated on an exhibition for the New York World’s Fair. Knoll asked Risom, who had been searching for a promoter and manufacturer, to help him design interiors for clients around New York.

With Hans handling client relations and Jens planning interiors and designing furniture when needed, the pair began to take on more design projects. In 1942 they printed the first Knoll Catalog, which included 15 pieces designed by Risom — the very first furniture to be commissioned specifically by Knoll. Working ingeniously within the constraints of wartime material shortages, Risom developed several chairs and tables using essentially scraps of wood and rejected nylon straps from parachute production. Despite these constraints, Risom was able to design innovative and truly modern pieces of furniture, a selection of which were reintroduced by Knoll in 1994.