An Unlikely Friendship Led to the Creation of Ikea's Iconic Poang Chair

Where Japanese and Swedish Sensibilities Meet

Published On
Aug 17, 2016

Editor's Pick

Ikea's Poang chair is one of the retailer's iconic and longest-selling pieces, having graced homes since the mid-70s.

The brand recently debuted this charming film that reads like a love letter to the chair. Apparently based on fact, it tells how the retailer came up with its design.

The tale opens on May 17, 1976, the first day on the job for a nervous Ikea designer named Lars Engman, who was tasked basically to, "Just do something." Just months before, Japanese designer Noboru Nakamura had arrived on a mission to learn more about Northern European design and Ikea. Turns out however, he felt a bit out of place, or "unique," as the film puts it -- until Engman approached him on putting their heads together.

It was through their collaboration, portrayed as an amicable give-and-take against a stylish retro backdrop, that Ikea came up with Poang, or Poem, as it was first called. The film fast forwards to modern day, showing the two designers (portrayed by actors) still at it.

"We made something really special together," a V.O. reads. "40 years from the beginning of a chair and a friendship, Poang is still there. As friendships do, the chair has evolved, so that it now comes in many colors and finishes, constantly improving over the years. 40 years onwards, the collaboration and friendship still flourish. May we raise a toast to friendship and Poang."

We're not quite sure how much of the tale was fictionalized. Nakamura alone has long been cited as the chair's designer, while Engman had been a product manager who worked with him when the chair was conceived.


Aug 17, 2016
Brand :
Client :
Agency :
ICOM Creative Hub-Sweden
Creative Director :
Morten Kjaer
Agency Producer :
Louice Alvarson
Client :
Simone Page
Production Company :
Director :
Jakob Marky
Director, Photography :
Matthew Chuang
Executive Producer :
Magnus Theorin
Executive Producer :
Ylva Axell
Producer :
Rima Kassar
Set Design :
Linda Janzon
Makeup :
Jenny Fred
Costume Design :
Mia Andersson
Editor :
Simon Pont
Sound Director :
Martin Dahl
Grade :
Jules Alary
Online :
Peter Marin
Titles :
Tomas Carlsten

Need a credit fix? Contact the Creativity Editors

Project Type