ikea’s poäng chair turns 40 and we feel old (but comfortable)
Published Sep 1, 2016 6:00 AM
text by SHANI SILVER
photos courtesy of IKEA
You know the chair, you’ve assembled the chair, you love the chair. It’s the classic, own-at-least-one, can’t-leave-college-without it IKEA POÄNG. Without realizing it, we’ve been enjoying the Poang and taking its interior design longevity entirely for granted. This chair has experience. It’s a functional, visually pleasing design that has stood the test of time, and many, many Netflix marathons. This year, IKEA’s POÄNG chair turns 40, (!) and to celebrate, the affordable, allen-wrench-it-yourself brand is releasing a few new POÄNG offerings. One new frame, six new covers, and one POÄNG armchair will all join IKEA this fall.
To give you some perspective, 40 years POÄNG translate this way:
- Over 30 million units sold.
- Right now, IKEA is selling about 1.5 million units each year.
- And the best part…the chair’s price is about 40% LOWER than it was when it launched!
NEW POÄNG ARMCHAIR $249. Clear lacquered birch veneer frame. Dyed grain leather removable cover. Designer: Noboru Nakamura. Birch veneer/Seglora natural.
NEW POÄNG ARMCHAIR $129. Stained, clear lacquered beech veneer frame. Polyester/cotton removable, washable cover. Designer: Noboru Nakamura. Black-brown/Edum dark blue.
“PRODUCTS SHOULD HAVE A TIMELESS VALUE. 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.”
– Noboru Nakamura
NEW POÄNG ARMCHAIR $129. Tinted, clear lacquered beech veneer frame. 100% cotton removable, washable cover. Designer: Noboru Nakamura. Beech veneer/Vislanda black/white, available October 2016.
OTHER FUN POÄNG FACTS:
- The chair was originally called POEM, but was renamed POÄNG in 1992 to correspond with a series of changes and improvements made to it.
- A test machine in IKEA stores since 1978 shows the durable form of the POÄNG chair. The machine pressure-tests the chair 20 times per minute at 1000 newton for a standard 50,000 times. That’s like a 220 lbs. person sitting in the chair 20 times per minute.
NEW POÄNG ARMCHAIR $129. Tinted, clear lacquered beech veneer frame. 100% cotton removable, washable cover. Designer: Noboru Nakamura. Beech veneer/Stenli black/white, available October 2016.
“FORTY YEARS IS A FAIRLY LONG PERIOD OF TIME. IT’S NOT ONLY A MATTER OF TIME. IT HAS MUCH TO DO WITH THOSE WHO REGULARLY USE MY PRODUCTS. THAT’S WHY THEY’RE STILL ON THE MARKET. THERE SEEMS TO BE A LOT OF CUSTOMERS OUT THERE WHO APPRECIATE MY PRODUCTS, WHICH I’M PLEASED AND PROUD OF.”
– Noboru Nakamura
The chair was designed by Noboru Nakamura, originally from Japan, who relocated to Northern Europe in the 1970s, because, in his words, “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.”
NEW POÄNG ARMCHAIR $129. Stained, clear lacquered birch veneer frame. Polyester/cotton removable, washable cover. Designer: Noboru Nakamura. White/Edum pink.