The A-chair is inspired by both Scandinavian design – with its noble materials and refined and functional style – and a modern New York style. This cultural melting pot comes mainly from Jens Risom's choice to move to the United States in 1942 and his desire to influence the world of design more widely.
The name of the A-Chair comes from the shape of its structure: behind the backrest, the frame comes to form an A, both to ensure a good support and to give a distinctive and singular sign to the chair. This structure is available in wood and steel. This base is surmounted by a generous seat. The curved backrest is made of two parts: combined with the loose seat cushion, il ensures a great comfort.
Dimensions H87 x W78 x D87 cm – Seat Height 42 cm
Hallingdal 110 (price group 2) / walnut
Vidar 333 (price group 3 ) / black painted steel
“Good design means that anything good will go well with other equally good things.”
Jens Risom (1916 - 2016) was a key figure who contributed to the Danish Modernism movement, considered the first designer to introduce a Scandinavian sense of aesthetics and focus on functionalism to America.
After studying design at the Copenhagen School of Industrial Arts and Design, Risom trained under Kaare Klint, who led the furniture school at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. An opportunity Risom shared alongside fellow icons-in-the-making Hans J. Wegner and Børge Mogensen.
Years later a chance meeting with the United States consulate in Copenhagen changed his life forever. Risom showed the diplomat sketches of his designs and, as Risom recalls, he said: ‘You should seriously consider going to America. We don’t have any furniture like this. I think you’d do very well.’ ”
Soon thereafter at the age of 26, Risom moved to America and went on to make a name for himself with his stylish approach to timeless, functional designs and focus on natural materials.
“Comfort vs. function in furniture can be quickly resolved. A well-designed sofa settles the question in one sitting.”
Like many of our designers who have incorporated a global sense of aesthetics into their work, Risom interpreted Scandinavian design in an American context, seen in his A-Chair infused with a New York sense of style and confidence. Similarly, Mogensen’s Spanish Chair for the Danish and international market was imbued with Andalusian influences. And Wegner’s J16 Rocking chair was inspired by traditional Windsor and Shaker furniture.
Highlights from Risom’s career include his appearance in the July 1961 issue of Playboy magazine in a double-page spread entitled “Designs For Living”. Risom was chosen along with George Nelson, Eero Saarinen, Harry Bertoia, Charles Eames and Edward Wormley as the designers “revolutionizing furniture in America” at the time.
”In judging furniture, appearances are usually inconclusive. For example, when sizing up a chair, do it sitting down.”
Many of Risom’s pieces appear as modern classics in leading design museums, such as New York’s Museum of Modern Art / MoMa and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, amongst others.
In 1966, Risom received the prestigious Danish Knight’s Cross from Queen Margrethe of Denmark.
Risom passed away in 2016 shortly after celebrating his 100th birthday.
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