Chair Tuesday: Armchair Model 406


I decided to use this chair for today's Chair Tuesday after a conversation with a coworker who was unaware that IKEA's famous POÄNG chairs are a rather blatant copy of a Scandinavian classic: Finnish designer Alvar Aalto's armchair model 406 & its variants.


Yes, on IKEA's chair the proportions are slightly different and there are a few changes in the frame, but it's undeniably an homage to Aalto's original designs from back in the mid thirties.

I think the original is still the best; when comparing the two side by side it feels more refined and elegant, with a much lighter presence that is so prevalent in & indicative of Scandinavian design.


But the popularity of the POÄNG chairs is a testament to IKEA's vision of "a better everyday life for the many people" as it has allowed many more people to be able to afford a version of this classic at a fraction of the price (roughly $270 compared to at least $1500 for the original). And given how popular the style is even after more than seventy years it shows that the design is truly one of the greats.