Fancher Designers

Jens Risom Jens Risom was born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1916. His father, Sven Risom, was a successful architect. Jens was trained as a designer at the Copenhagen School of Industrial Arts and Design. After graduating high school, he spent two years at Niels Brock Copenhagen Business College, before beginning as an interior designer and furniture developer for the architectural firm, Ernst Kuhn. He later moved to Stockholm, first working with a small architectural firm and later joining the design department of Nordiska Kompaniet. In 1939, Jens Risom traveled to New York City to study American design. He found it difficult to find design work; however, and accepted a number of textile designs that ultimately found him freelance work for designer, Dan Cooper. In 1942, Risom joined together with entrepreneur Hans Knoll to launch the Hans Knoll Furniture Company with 15 of the 20 pieces in the inaugural “600” line designed by Risom. These pieces included stools, armchairs and lounges which have become design classics. In 1946, Jens Risom decided to launch his own firm, Jens Risom Design (JRD). His reputation as a furniture designer continued to grow and he began promoting Scandinavian design in home furniture to the American public. After running the company for 25 years, Risom sold JRD to Dictaphone in 1970. Risom stayed on as CEO for three more years, and then relocated to Connecticut where he launched a consulting service, Design Control.

Jeff Parsons Jeff Parsons was born in Winchester, Massachusetts in 1956. His paternal grandfather was a commercial artist and his father was a lapidary (one who cuts precious and semi-precious stones). Growing up, Jeff always had an interest in working with his hands. His passions were hiking and woodcarving. He attended Boston University and enrolled in a program for Artisanry, which was just getting started for the college at that time. Jeff’s interest was piqued after viewing a slide show presentation from two of his furniture professors at the university. While attending college, Jeff also met student, Bruce Beeken, who would later become Parsons business partner. Both Jeff and Bruce graduated with degrees in furniture design and construction. In 1983, they formed a business partnership and established a workshop in Shelburne, Vermont. Since then they have created furniture designs for numerous universities, libraries and museums.

Marc KrusinMarc Krusin was born in London, England in 1973. Marc had an interest in design even as a small child.
Earlier in his life, Marc took a yearlong foundation course in art and design at Brighton and learned he had a natural ability to work with three-dimensional objects, furniture and spaces. He attended Leeds Metropolitan University. Marc credits the university in allowing its students to use a hands-on approach-actually working with materials, welding, gluing and building their own prototypes from scratch. After graduation, Marc had placements with Fred Scott and George Sowden and later began his career in Milan collaborating with various studios. In 1998, he co-founded the Milan based group Codice 31, which in following years obtained increasing importance in the world of design.

Fred Eustis Fred Eustis is the owner and president of Eustis Chair. Eustis Chair is the product of two companies, both started around 1990, one on the east coast and one on the west coast.
Eustis Enterprises, Inc. was founded in 1989 in Ashburnham, Massachusetts by William Eustis, Fred’s father. Both father and son worked together for the next five years building high-quality dining chairs for Stickley furniture. After his father’s retirement in 1997, the company continued to manufacture chairs for Stickley. Fred, a Harvard graduate, became interested in designing and manufacturing a new line of chairs carrying the Eustis name. Eustis Designs Inc. was founded in 1990 in Palo Alto, California by Engineering Professor, Robert Eustis. Robert developed and patented an impressive joinery system using concealed steel rods and aerospace- grade epoxies. This technique allowed Eustis Designs to build hundred of chairs for libraries and universities without a single joint failure. Fred learned about Eustis Designs in 1999, and later acquired the patent rights to the technology now known as the “Eustis Joint”. Eustis Chair is the trade name currently used for the new company. From 2000 to 2010, Eustis Chair added many new designs and completed over 100 projects for well-know institutions throughout the United States.

Joe Ricchio
Joe Ricchio was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He received his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design from California State University at Long Beach in 1980.
During his time in college, Joe also participated in an international program in Florence, Italy where he studied design and architecture. Ricchio Design was established in 1982 in Seal Beach, California. The company specialized in the area of product, furniture and graphic design. For many years, Ricchio Design has successfully completed major design projects including design and planning for Xerox Corporation, furniture design for Knoll International, and graphic design for Disney. Additionally, Ricchio has worked with several international projects and clients. Joe has taught as a guest lecturer at California State University-Long Beach and the Art Center College of Design. He currently volunteers his time to participate in critiques for the students of California State University-Long Beach.

Ted Boerner Ted Boerner was born in Wisconsin in 1957. His childhood summers spent in rural Wisconsin have greatly impacted his design technique-giving his work simplicity and well-wrought comfort. As a former theatre and dance student, Ted developed an insightful sense of the body and the space it occupies. Ted ended up earning his BFA in theatre design and continued in the field as a grad student at New York University. Returning to his Wisconsin home, Ted worked as a production designer for a classical repertory theatre with which he traveled extensively, designing sets and costumes for a number of productions. In the mid-80s, Ted settled in San Francisco to work as an interior designer. He opened his own furniture studio in 1988. Within a year, he was creating custom furnishing for the Manhattan Hotel in Tokyo and the Governor Hotel in Portland, Oregon. Since then, Ted Boerner, Inc. has had incredible success and obtained many commercial clients including Nike, Northwest Airlines, San Francisco’s Hotel Rex, and New York’s Gotham Bar & Grill.

Joe AgatiJoe Agati received his undergraduate degree in ceramic engineering. He went on to get his Master of Fine Arts in sculpture. After completing his MFA, Joe worked with the architect and design community doing one-of-a-kind pieces. The business, Agati Design, was born in New York, but relocated to Chicago in 1979. In the 1980s, the company launched its library division with the completion of the Vespasian Public Library project in Clinton, Illinois. The company’s expertise in the library has translated into healthcare as well. In 1993, Agati introduced their first healthcare installment. Agati has grown to become the leading furniture manufacturer of choice through word of mouth recommendations from librarians and their architects across the country. Their quality pieces and collections are tailored to meet the needs of clients in the Education, Healthcare, Hospitality and Corporate markets.

Cory Grosser Cory Grosser was born in Rochester, New York in 1975. Cory earned an architecture degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1997. He earned an industrial design degree from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California in 2001. That same year he founded his studio in Los Angeles and began serving clients across several disciplines including furniture and product design, textile design, and architecture. His client list includes many multi-national corporations and leading boutique brands such as: Bentley Motorcars, Ford Motor Company, SpHaus, and Walt Disney. Cory is active in design education and currently teaches advanced design studios at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

Benjamin PardoBenjamin Pardo has been Executive Vice President of Knoll Inc. since July 2011 and its Design Director since September 2005. Mr. Pardo served as Senior Vice President of Knoll Inc. since September 2005. Prior to joining Knoll Inc., Benjamin served as the President of Unifor, Inc., where he was employed since 1988. Since becoming Design Director, Pardo has been influential in developing an ergonomic chair for Knoll. This new generation of task chair aims to provide flexibility so the user can sit how they want, while still being comfortable and supported.

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