Risom Side Chair

Jens Risom 1943

The first pieces conceived for and manufactured by Knoll, Jens Risom’s furniture was originally constructed of simple maple frames and discarded parachute webbing due to wartime material restrictions. Described as good, honest furniture design, the collection helped establish Knoll as an early provider of modern design in America.


Construction and Details
  • Back available with or without webbing
  • 100% natural cotton webbing available in 10 colors
  • Water-repellant cotton/nylon blend webbing available in 6 colors
  • Frame available in select Maple or Walnut hardwood with mortise and tenon construction
  • Ebonized finish available on Maple frame
  • Catalyzed lacquer finish
Sustainable Design and Environmental Certification
  • GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified®

Downloads for Risom Side Chair

Symbol Library Download

General Info

Planning Tools


Cotton webbing is 100% natural cotton. Nylon webbing is 60% nylon, 40% cotton with water repellent finish.

  • color Red Cotton
  • color Maize Cotton
  • color Forest Green Cotton
  • color Steel Blue Cotton
  • color Aubergine Cotton
  • color Flax Cotton
  • color Khaki Cotton
  • color Dark Grey Cotton
  • color Navy Cotton
  • color Black Cotton
  • color Tomato
  • color Blueberry Cotton/Nylon
  • color Squash Cotton/Nylon
  • color Nutmeg Cotton/Nylon
  • color Eucalyptus Cotton/Nylon
  • color Licorice Cotton/Nylon
  • color Clear Maple/Maple/Rotary Maple
  • color Ebonized
  • color Light Walnut


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. Serendipitously, Jens Risom was looking for a salesman to promote his work. They found each other in 1941, and the two young men—just 23 and 24—embarked on a four-month research tour of the United States. 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, 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.