Son of the well-known architect Sven Risom, Jens (1916-2016) graduated from the prestigious Kundstandvaerkerskolen in Copenhagen. Risom served as Director of Interior Design at the studio of Dan Cooper in New York before starting a freelance career specializing in furniture and textiles. It was during this time that he met Hans Knoll. 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. Despite the constraints of wartime material shortages, Risom was able to design innovative modern pieces of furniture.