HÅGs roots starts in 1943 with the foundation of the HÅG company by Håkon Granlund. The company produced furniture in wood and steel, primarily for schools, and had certain success. But by the end of the sixties, the post war baby boom was over, the schools were built to overcapacity, and volumes dropped sharply. By 1972 equity was lost 16 times, the company only got supplies in return for cash payments, and was in other words technically bankrupt. The original owner saw no better option than to hand the company over to a young recent recruit, Torgeir Mjør Grimsrud.
This marks a remarkable turn of events. Realizing the company had nothing, except from its employees, they decided to focus corporate culture in a systematic way. The term HÅG movement, was a description of a movement concept in the products, but was also a movement in terms of the people who worked in the company. This slogan, as well as the saying as long as there is life, there is HÅG, and many others, stem from this era.
They also realized that they needed to address new segments. Chairs for working people was originally a very small segment for the company, but was decided to be primary focus, building on the ergonomic expertize from school furniture.
Thirdly, they realized that to do so, there was a relatively novel discipline back then, called design. A number of leading Scaninavian designers were hired to form what was a creative melting pot of dimensions, for products, but also for communication. Among the designers were Peter Opsvik, Svein Gusrud, Svein Asbjørnsen, later Verner Panton joined, the medical doctor Aage Christen Mandal joined in, and many others. Together they created a remarkable innovative force, that generated significant attention and sales, nationally and abroad. 1979 is a milestone in this development, with the launch of the HÅG Doc chair, that was based on doctor Mandals research that conluded that man is not made to sit still, but for movement and variation.
In 2007 HÅG, RH and RBM merged. The new entity was named Scandinavian Business Seating, but by and large sprung out of the HÅG organization, being the largest, most profitable and most mature.
Throughout this development, the company has remained extremely passionate about what we do. The vision, to make the world a better place to sit, focuses seating, but is actually all encompassing. We have a significant track record within ergonomics (with true & documented benefits) to pioneer environmentally friendly products, and to be responsible cornerstones in the communities in which we operate. We take great pride in producing our products in Røros and Nässjö for the global market, even with an external value chain which is also by and large Scandinavian. Production of finished goods for an international market is often deemed impossible from a Scandinavian cost level, but we prove it can even be extremely profitable, if you do it right.
The use of external designers has followed the company since 1972, with significant success. Whereas originally, concept development was outsourced entirely to the external designers, or new products were engineered based on ready-made concept proposals from designers, a need for a more ripe approach to designer collaboration emerged, gradually through the nineties. Starting with the development of HÅG Scio (HÅG H03) where own forces were key in concept development, and the designer hired in to join us at the table. The development of the HÅG Futu represented the next stage, where not one agency, but 10 external designers were invited to join an ad hoc design studio for the next generation of task chairs. This is now the standard. The company has a complete in house design operation, with all relevant disciplines, including 8 industrial designers. We never outsource design, but we always invite external designers to join us, in new and innovative ventures.