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HÅG - Always on the move

Untitled design (18).pngThe story of HÅG is a story about innovation and the conviction that full freedom of movement is essential for sitting correctly. HÅG has challenged conventional methods and embraced lateral thinking. However, first and foremost it is the story of an iconic brand and a worldwide producer of office chairs.



HÅG was founded in Oslo in 1943 as a tubular steel furniture company by Håkon Granlund. In the 1950s and -60s, the company manufactured a series of reasonable kitchen and office chairs in sturdy materials. Around 1957, HÅG relocated to Røros, where the company quadrupled its production in just four years. The early 1970s were a financially challenging time for HÅG as the demand for tubular steel furniture fell, and the company had to adjust its production accordingly.


In 1975, Torgeir Mjør Grimsrud was appointed  the new CEO. He modernised HÅG and ensured its continued operations.At approximately the same time, Peter Opsvik started working as a freelance designer for the company. His first offering was the office chair 2010 (1974).

This kicked off a collaboration which has lasted for 40 years.


In 1977 HÅG invited the Danish doctor A.C. Mandal to hold a lectureThe previous year he had written an article about chair design and chronic back pain. This led to a collaboration between HÅG and Mandal on the ergonomic chair 2000/Docs with a “fluid” tipping seat. Since then, HÅG has made its mark as a manufacturer of ergonomic office chairs. 





Peter Opsvik’s office chair 

Image_09.jpgHÅG Capisco was in many ways the starting point for HÅG as an internationally focused design company. HÅG Capisco was innovative because of its sculptural form, but more importantly because it encourages a whole range of dynamic sitting positions. The chair has become a modern furniture classic, which on several occasions has been further developed, most recently in 2010 with the HÅG Capisco Puls.


In the mid-2000s, HÅG took yet another direction when 10 designers were invited to a creative workshop in connection with the start of the development of the chair HÅG Futu. This collaboration resulted in a scientifically founded mapping project of what HÅG wanted to address to the consumers with the new chair HÅG Futu. An important conclusion was amongst other things that one should carry on being faithful to the brand product HÅG, but in a more reduced design language.

Following the initial phase, Kode Design was invited to develop the chair further along with HÅG’s product developers, in a project that lasted for more than three years. In 2009, HÅG Futu was awarded the Norwegian Design Council’s Environment Award. The collaborative work has been carried on with the development of several office chairs, including HÅG SoFi (2012), which was developed in cooperation with Powerdesign and Frost Produkt.

Untitled design (13).jpg

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2017 edition of Share Magazine.

Posted by

Richard Ferris on 09-Mar-2017 13:35:00



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