Risom Outdoor Side Table - Square

Jens Risom 1943 (Outdoor, 2018)

Described as good, honest furniture design, the Risom Collection helped establish Knoll as an early source of modern design in America. Three-quarters of a century later, selected products from the original collection have been re-engineered for outdoor use. Oiled teak tops and frames ready these classics for a life outside.

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Finishes

  • color Teak

Dimensions

Additional Info

Construction and Details
  • Frame and top aresolid teak with an oiled finish
    • Teak oil can be reapplied every three months to maintain a rich color
    • If not oiled, teak will weather with exposure to the elements, turning silver over time
  • GREENGUARD Certified®

Originally known as the 600 Series, the Risom Collection was the first furniture ever commissioned and manufactured by the Hans Knoll Furniture Company. Knowing that the war would disrupt his supply lines, Hans Knoll sought a designer to develop original furniture that could be produced locally in New York. Serendipitously, Jens Risom was looking for a salesman to promote his work. They found each other in 1941, and Risom designed a complete line of simple modern chairs, tables and storage that could be made locally, with materials not limited by wartime supply restrictions.

Risom’s 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 offcast wood and discarded nylon webbing from parachute factories. Three-quarters of a century later, the Risom Collection has been reimagined for the outdoors in the same spirit with which it was originally created.
 

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.