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    Risom Stool

    Jens Risom 1943

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


    • 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 Carbon - Sunbrella
    • color Charcoal - Sunbrella
    • color Navy - Sunbrella
    • color Ochre - Sunbrella
    • color Fern - Sunbrella
    • color Antique Beige - Sunbrella
    • color Clear Maple/Maple/Rotary Maple
    • color Ebonized
    • color Light Walnut
    • color Teak


    Additional Info

    Construction and Details
    • Webbing
      • Cotton: 100% natural cotton
      • Sunbrella®: Acrylic/Polyester blended yarn. Has slight stretch, is UV/fade resistant, water repellent, bleach-cleanable and stain resistant
      • Cotton/Nylon: 40/60 blend with water repellent finish
    • 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
    • Risom Stool is certified Clean Air GOLD
    • Learn more about Risom Stool product certifications and materials at Ecomedes.


    Configure Risom Stool

    The configurator below is for reference purposes only. All options, finishes and sizes may not be represented.
    For the complete scope, please refer to the KnollStudio price list.


    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. 


    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.