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“A variety of inspirations” – an interview with Stefan Lohrberg on spoga+gafa 2016

All new products revolving around outdoor life will be presented at spoga+gafa from 4 to 6 September. With around 2,000 providers from approximately 60 countries, the international garden trade fair is the world’s leading industry event. An interview with Project Manager Stefan Lohrberg about current outdoor trends and the highlights of spoga+gafa 2016.

Mr Lohrberg, spoga+gafa 2016 is showing new products revolving around outdoor life. What current trends and developments do you observe for the designing of the outdoors?
Lohrberg: For gardeners it is primarily about being in the midst of nature. As a contrast to fast-moving everyday life, here one lives consciously and intensely. Returning to the original also reinforces the desire to rediscover established things. This is seen in many facets, for example, in the segment of outdoor furniture. Retro is present here everywhere with the new editions of design icons or classic forms, like the canopy swing. But it should also be cozy and comfortable outside. This is why modular sofas and lounge landscapes, the product group of “casual dining” or the “modern country” look with wickerwork and teak wood are gaining in importance. At the same time, garden furniture is presenting itself as colourful and playful this season. The manufacturers are creating charming and in some cases even clever designs.

What special developments do you see for other outdoor products like barbecues or garden devices?
Lohrberg: The manufacturers have discovered multi-functionality. In this way many devices are today uniting different properties in one model. At the same time, the companies are fuelling this creativity with new accessories ideas. Another boom: the devices are becoming “smart”. There are, for example, grills that can be controlled per mobile phone, or mowing robots that can be controlled from the wrist with an app. On top of this, there are “smart systems” for the garden. The user can control and configure the attached devices with an app.

What new products can trade fair visitors look forward to with regard to the offerings of exhibitors?
Lohrberg: The exhibitors of premium garden furniture, but also, and that is new this year, the manufacturers of other strong brands are presenting here at garden unique in hall 10.2: garden unique is comprised of the top brands of the garden market. By opening up the segment to additional strong and well-known brands, the attractiveness of the exhibition offering has been increased further and addresses additional target groups.

The target groups of the international garden trade fair include garden and landscape architects. What are you offering these visitors in particular?
Lohrberg: spoga+gafa offers a variety of inspirations for these target groups. An information day especially for landscape architects is being organised for the third time already on 5 September in hall 10.2. Continuing training points are being issued for the event on the theme of “wood, glass and natural stone”. This year’s young designer competition unique youngstar will also provide new impulses. The winners will be announced on 4 September, also in hall 10.2 (unique lounge). All prototypes on the competition theme of ‘Outdoor Living’ will be presented there for the duration of the trade fair.

How do you see the future development of spoga+gafa, especially against the background of increasing relocation of life to the outdoor realm?
Lohrberg: spoga+gafa is growing in importance, as even more attention is being paid to the homey design of outdoor space. One theme with great potential for the trade fair is thus also that of cooking outdoors. The theme of outdoor cooking will play an increasingly important role at spoga+gafa: let yourself be surprised.  In addition to this, we will expand upon the internationalisation of the garden trade fair. It is the leading garden show worldwide and will remain so.

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