Happy 40th Birthday, POÄNG! September 1st marks a special day at IKEA. It represents 40 years since the creation of one of our most durable and iconic products: the POÄNG armchair.
THE HISTORY OF THE POÄNG ARMCHAIR
This icon of Scandinavian design was the creation of Japanese designer Noboru Nakamura. Mr Nakamura graduated from industrial high school in Sapporo in 1931 and has worked both as a designer and furniture manufacturer. In the 1970’s, Mr. Nakamura moved to Sweden to learn more about Northern European design in general, and IKEA in particular. He shares, “The reason why I wanted to go to northern Europe is that the design there has essential, creative elements for humans. Their products are pleasant, fun and soothing to touch and use, with each having significant meaning and value. I saw how they were designed and made, which impressed and inspired me a lot.”
During that time, while at IKEA, he worked on a design with Lars Engman - the first version of the POÄNG armchair, originally called POEM. You can view a video on the story of POEM (now known as POÄNG) below.
Mr. Nakamura had this to say about the creation of POÄNG and design in general:
- The value of something is more than its price” According to Nakamura, “Products should have a timeless value.” He explains that “there are trends or fashions that may influence what is designed and made…we should always ask ourselves what the good things are, not simply whether they are expensive or cheap.”
- True quality needs to be touched: Nakamura insists that it’s imperative to actually touch the products. He feels that pictures only show how things look. “You’ll never understand the true value of products without using them. And that’s what I learned in northern European countries. The very essence of design.” And for Mr. Nakamura, that essence lies in nature, which enriches us spiritually.
Check out the full interview with Mr. Nakamura:
POÄNG FUN FACTS
- The armchair was originally called POEM, but was renamed POÄNG in 1992 to correspond with a series of changes and improvements made to it.
- Globally, more than 30 million POÄNG armchairs have been sold since its debut forty years ago. Currently, approximately 1.5 million POÄNG armchairs are sold each year worldwide.
- The price of POÄNG is approximately 21% lower than 40 years ago due to redesign and packaging
- POÄNG is one of the top-selling armchairs at IKEA.
POÄNG SUSTAINABILITY FACTS
- POÄNG fabric covers - made from 100% cotton - are from more sustainable sources. IKEA is a founding member of the BCI (Better Cotton Initiative), which is committed to producing cotton with fewer pesticides and chemicals.
- The frames are made predominantly of FSC-certified wood.
- The redesign in 1992 consisted of replacing steel tubes within the frame to an all layered bentwood frame. This allowed the chair to be flat packed and allowed 26 chairs to be loaded per pallet, as opposed to 12. This both helped lower the cost of transport (and the overall price!) and promoted sustainability as the packaging became more compact and less wasteful.
MORE REASONS TO CELEBRATE
To commemorate this historic occasion, we're introducing brand new POÄNG seat covers and a beautiful new frame color!
New limited-time covers shown above: Top row – Edum dark blue cover and Edum pink cover; Middle row - Sandbacka green cover and Seglora natural cover; Bottom row – SNEAK PEEK of new covers coming October 2016 Stenli black/white and Vislanda black/white Products available for a limited time. Check local store for availability.
How has POÄNG changed over the years? See for yourself in the slideshow below!