Mid-Century. Alive and Well.

DWELL takes a look at a fabulous mid-century designer

“Many of my designs from 60 years ago are now categorized as Mid-Twentieth Century, which of course makes me feel rather old! People ask me if I think these designs will still be around in another 50 years. Well, I won’t be around then so I’m not too concerned about that!”

-Jens Risom

“Jens Risom is enjoying his place in the canon of mid-century furniture designers while also distinguishing himself as a great contemporary designer. At 93, he shows no sign of putting down the pencil.”

[Modifications to an earlier design show that he’s not one to believe his work is beyond improvement: this sketch shows a lower axis point for a leg joist in the latest version of his classic 600 line chair.]

“In 2007 Design Within Reach ran an ad campaign that aimed to capitalize on the present design zeitgeist by making use of a 1961 photo spread from Playboy. As the Danish-American furniture designer Jens Risom recalls it: ‘Playboy wanted to become highbrow, you know. It never really worked, but they started out with a big series on architects, and then there was one on furniture designers. The center-fold, which normally pictured a lovely, yummy girl, was instead replaced by a picture of six male furniture designers!’ Though the enlightened editorial direction at Playboy in the early 1960s didn’t stick, DWR can attest that the magazine was onto something. For today’s design enthusiasts, the desire for mid-century-modern artifacts can be commensurately licentious.”

Mr. Risom is the kind of designer who has developed modern style, and has kept it evolving. His designs are iconic, and his will to be constantly creating is legendary. [Full DWELL ARTICLE]


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