gardiente Award

After a successful start, the “gardiente Outdoor-Living-Award” will also be one of the highlights during the gardiente 2018.

Exhibitors of the fair can apply for the award with their innovations from the fields of garden furniture, sun shades, BBQs and accessories. The criteria for judging the product entries included aesthetics, design, innovation, functionality and sustainability.

Our expert jurors – Prof. Auwi Stübbe, Helmut Merkel, Prof. Jan Armgardt and Bianca Schmidt – will be there again this year. We heartly welcome Ursula Geisman, press spokeswoman German wood industry’s umbrella association, as a new jury member. The jurors will make a pre-selection from all the submissions, which will be presented at a prominent place in our TrendArea during the gardiente.

The final selection will be made on 1 July 2018 during the fair and will culminate in the Awards Ceremony held at “gardiente night”, in which the top three will be awarded.

Our expert jurors


Prof. Auwi Stübbe

Chairman of the regional design forum Coburger Designforum Oberfranken e. V.

Prof. Auwi Stübbe is one of the trailblazers that turned Coburg into an important design location. The trained master carpenter studied architecture and interior design in Stuttgart. He then worked for the architect’s office Prof. Heinle & Wischer and was involved in the foundation of Magazin GmbH in 1972, subsequently accepting a Professorship at the Coburg University of Applied Sciences in 1982. He was dean for many years and was instrumental in establishing a degree course in design. In collaboration with his colleagues, he adopted and implemented an idea tabled by Coburg’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce to stage design events in the city. This gave rise in 1988/89 to the Coburg Design Days, which continue to shape his work to this day. He is currently Chairman of the regional design forum Coburger Designforum Oberfranken e. V., of which he was one of the co-founders in 2001.


Helmut »Max« Merkel

Editor-in-chief MÖBELMARKT

The journalist Helmut “Max” Merkel has been specialising in the furniture sector since 1982. In 1988, he started working for the German furniture trade magazine MÖBELMARKT. From 1992 to 1999, he was co-owner of a PR agency for furniture manufacturers, buying groups and furniture retailers. He then returned to MÖBELMARKT as editor-in-chief (international). In 2008, he also assumed the role of CEO for CRP Consulting Ritthammer & Partners, a service and consulting company specialising in the international furniture sector.

Prof. Jan Armgardt

Jan Armgardt Design, Schondorf

Born in 1947, Jan Armgardt lives and works in Schondorf by Lake Ammersee. He looks back, among others, on an apprenticeship as a furniture maker, a degree in architecture and interior design and a traineeship with a furniture store. He founded his own furniture design studio and various small mail order companies for furniture. He has also held numerous exhibitions both in Germany and abroad as well as workshops at universities in Germany, the Philippines (2006) and Turkey (2007 | 2008 | 2010). Jan Armgardt has taught at the Coburg University of Applied Sciences and the Staatliche Korbfachschule in Lichtenfels and is currently a professor at the Aachen University of Applied Sciences. The designer has received more than 40 international awards for a diversity of products and has extensive experience as a jury member.

Bianca Schmidt

publisher of the special interest title InteriorFashion

Born in 1971, Bianca Schmidt studied Business Administration at the Coburg University of Applied Sciences. She more or less stumbled into journalism which soon proved to be her true vocation. After 15 years as an editor with the German trade magazine MÖBELMARKT, she decided to become self-employed at the beginning of 2016. She now publishes the special interest title InteriorFashion which focuses on high-end furnishings in the private and contract business sectors and primarily targets interior designers, furnishing contractors and high-end furniture stores involved in interior planning and design.

Ursula Geismann

press spokeswoman German wood industry’s umbrella association

Ursula Geismann studied economics, politics and sociology in Mainz and Hamburg. After completing her degree, she took up a position as head of market analysis and statistics for a market research and polling institute in Cologne where she worked for several years. In January 1997, she assumed a new role with the German wood, furniture and prefab industry associations in Bad Honnef (Verbände der Deutschen Holz-, Möbel- und Fertigbauindustrie). Whilst fulfilling her role as press officer, she observes and analyses architectural and design developments in construction, interior design and furniture. Looking after the export activities of the German wood industry’s umbrella association Hauptverband der deutschen Holzindustrie, she attends construction, supplier and furniture trade fairs all over the world.


Here you can have a look at the emotional award ceremony of the gardiente 2017.

To a general surprise, the Gold Award went not to a furniture manufacturer, but to the Danish newcomer PLINTHIT, who presented with his umbrella stand a real innovation: “We are very happy about the win. The special feature of our product is that we have thought of the classic umbrella stand completely new and innovative. We do not use pipes, screws, granite or stone. Maybe difficult to imagine, but quite simple. The frame is held by two sand bags, which, in contrast to stone, is able to absorb wind and thus give the umbrella a high stability,” explained owner Christian Toft Jakobsen the winning product.


The Outdoor-Living-Award in Silver was given to the modular “Havana” lounge system by SIEGER, which can be used not only as a dining lounge but also as an opulent seating landscape thanks to its finely balanced seat ergonomics. Bronze went to Italian outdoor manufacturer Nardi for the two-in-one “Net Bench” with matching “Net Tabel”. In addition to the official prize winners, the jury also gave an “honorable mention” for the “Stan” wing chair from Stern, which according to the manufacturer is an example for products which are intended to enable the retailer to make additional sales.

These were the 13 Nomenees:

Alexander Rose, Clifton Outdoor Fires, DekoVries, Epstein-Design Leuchtenmanufaktur, H. Gautzsch (Siena Garden), Hartman Outdoor Products, Jan Kurtz, Kettler, NARDI, PLINTHIT, Sieger, Stern and ZEBRA.