Frankfurt, July 2018. Fully booked halls, a rounded exhibitor portfolio featuring 81 brands and inspiring variety in the BBQ Area characterised the fifth edition of gardiente which ran from 1 – 3 July 2018. Commenting on his first appearance at gardiente, Peter Zwaving of Apple Bee stated: “We’re delighted to be here at gardiente at last and to be showing our latest innovations.”
The first-ever collaboration between gardiente and the concurrent event Tendence in Frankfurt likewise met with a positive response, providing trade buyers with genuine added value and an even broader preview of emerging trends. The free shuttle service enabled visitors to travel to and from the venues both quickly and conveniently, while admission tickets to gardiente and Tendence were valid for both events.
The main highlight on the Sunday was the presentation of the “gardiente Outdoor Living Awards”. Around half of all exhibitors had entered their innovations from the fields of garden furniture, sun shades, BBQs, textiles and accessories for a chance to win this coveted accolade.
Coming in third place last year, this time round Italian furniture manufacturer Nardi clinched the Gold Award for its modular outdoor lounge “Komodo”. This innovative set had already caused quite a sensation at the Milan furniture fair, impressing visitors with its functionality and versatility. “Komodo comprises three elements, which can transform in a few simple steps from an armchair into a table or an entire lounge. The back and arm rests are easy to click into place, making it an incredibly flexible system. The polypropylene can be completely recycled and, around 15 to 20 years after being used in the furniture for the first time, it can be transformed into new furniture or other products,” explains Stefan Pfaff of Nardi. Managing Director Anna Nardi travelled especially to gardiente to receive the award.
The Outdoor Living Award in Silver went to the multi-functional “Premium Sunshade Pendel” from Doppler/Knirps, a product characterised by functionality and ease of use. Jürgen Schmeller, Doppler, commented: “Light weight, quality and easy handling were among the main priorities in designing our Premium Sunshade Pendel. We’re really proud of it.” The Bronze Award was presented to the “Cube” fire basket from höfats. Highlighting the attributes of this product, Rainer Danner, höfats, explained: “If you want to stifle the fire, you simply turn the Cube over – obeying the laws of gravity, the fire tray always remains level. When the “Cube” isn’t on fire, it can be used as a stool or a side table – it’s a really versatile and useful piece of outdoor furniture. Also, in the age of e-commerce, the cube can easily be packaged and sent by post.” In addition to the official prize winners, the jury of experts also issued “honorary commendations” for the “Antibes” chair series from ScanCom and the “Circus” side table made from recycled teak by Jan Kurtz.
During the fair, all 12 nominations for the gardiente Awards were on view in the TrendArea. It has also become something of a tradition here on the Monday for Helmut Merkel, Editor-in-Chief of German trade magazine MÖBELMARKT, to reveal to an engaged audience the innovations for the outdoor season 2019. Turning his attention to trends, Merkel commented on the increasing fusion between indoor and outdoor designs. Furniture is becoming more elegant – table tops, for example, are becoming thinner without compromising on strength or stability. Merkel sees another trend in the mix of materials, noting: “Wood is up-and-coming. Combined with aluminium, plastic and other materials, this product is becoming ever more interesting for customers. Similarly, plastic is far from being a boring material for furniture design, as it paves the way for chic and trendy concepts.”
Featured alongside the nominees for the Outdoor Living Awards, two universities of applied sciences – Mainz and Potsdam – exhibited their creations in the TrendArea. During an interactive panel discussion on the Tuesday, featuring design experts and professors, the students were given the opportunity to engage with the panel and to learn some practical tips.
In the spirit of the “Outdoor Living Show” theme, “gardiente night” on the first evening of the fair was a resounding success, creating a relaxed atmosphere for stimulating conversation in good company – a sign that the networking event has evolved into a firm feature for the “Who is Who” of the outdoor living industry.
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The first images of the fair are now available at flickr galerie: Photo: © Simon Veith – nachhaltige Fotografieread Press Release as PDF