Zic Zac – For very small outdoor spaces, for picnics or open air day trips

Zic Zac is a practical balcony set which brightens the atmosphere with its fresh and cheerful vitality, its colours and its design. Zic Zac is ideal for small outdoor spaces.

One side of the Zic table can be attached to the wall and because of a simple mechanism, it can be easily closed and folded down. It is possible to store two Zac chairs inside. But it is also possible to use Zic table in a traditional way freestanding like a camping table. The whole set is available in seven different shades, form bright colours of fizzling orange, purple, red and lime green to the more subtle ones like anthracite, white and grey. Zic Zac is lightweight and easy to handle. It doesn´t require any end-of-season maintenance because the set is made of polypropylene fibre-glass, a material characterized by strong resistance to atmospheric pollutants.

Further information: nardigarden.com

Oceans Outdoor Furniture to launch its new 2013 range exclusively at spoga+gafa 2012

As one of the UK’s leading providers of PE Rattan Outdoor and Garden furniture, Oceans enters 2013 off the back of a very eventful 2012, which saw the company win more RHS awards, open over 15 new pop-up stores across the UK (including House of Fraser concessions) and become an exclusive supplier to furniture retailer DFS.

Established over 8 years ago, Oceans has led the way in design and innovation within the high-end outdoor furniture market, and not just as a reseller; Oceans also design, manufacture, import, warehouse and deliver their ranges direct to the customer. This means that Oceans has total control of the supply chain, from concept and design through to delivery and installation. Oceans have a distinguished brand in the industry and a solid reputation within the luxury products market, with the quality of the products being far superior to other rattan furniture providers.

One of main reasons Oceans is able to produce such high-quality products, is down to the development and use of the exclusive all-weather Oceana™ Weave. Oceans is one of only a handful of companies that manufactures its own weave, allowing them to manage quality from the start.

Recent hotel clients have included the iconic Brooklands Hotel in Surry, HS Hotels, Heythrop Park Resort, Holiday Inn Express and La Manga Club in Spain, to name but a few. Other noteworthy installations recently have included: The famed Sosban restaurant in South Wales and the Alton Towers Resort Spa.

Looking ahead to the 2013 range, Oceans is pleased to announce new additions, being exclusively launched at spoga+gafa 2012, including:

  1. A new range of Gazebos.
  2. A new range of PE Rattan Bar Island sets.
  3. A new range of stand-alone, multi-functional, coffee tables.

Be the first to view the new range, only at spoga+gafa 2012. Oceans can be found on Stand F011 – G010 (Hall 11, level 1, Aisle F, Stand 011). Trade visitors, retailers and distributors are invited to meet the Oceans trade team and enjoy a complimentary drink on the stand.

For enquiries or to book an appointment with a member of the Oceans Trade team at the show, call: +44 (0) 1295 221 169 or email r.chana@oceansint.com.


Improving the Garden Centre Industry Worldwide

The International Garden Centre Association (IGCA) provides valuable benefits for members around the world. Its key event each year is the International Garden Centre Congress held in a different country every year and provides unrivalled networking opportunities for members. The Congress sees over 200 of the best Garden Centre operators in the world meet together for one week and visit the best in Garden Centre retailing that the host country has to offer.

Milton Vadoulis from Vadoulis Plants Plus, Australia said: “We are a long way from the rest of the world in Australia but by attending IGCA Congresses, I have been able to see the latest trends in plants, catering, giftware and all other garden-related products. The Congress has helped me improve my business plus lift sales and profitability. The networking and communication opportunities with my peers provided by the Congress are an added benefit for my business.” John Zaplatynsky from Gardenworks, Canada said: “I have attended five Congresses now and there is no doubt that the ideas I have picked up have made a huge difference to my business. I now have friends in Garden Centres around the world and we discuss trends as well as very important business statistics such as wages to sales, average sale and many other areas that help us all. We are able to exchange ideas with members via Facebook and get great value out of the quarterly International E-News. One important aspect of the Congress is a working programme for younger employees and managers.”

The International Garden Centre Association is an independent not for profit organization committed to the continuous improvement of the international garden centre industry through co-operation with global partners to align international, regional and industry agendas. The Congress was held in Germany this August and will be in Australia in 2013 and Ireland in 2014. We ask you to contact us, enquire about joining and start benefiting.

Further information: intgardencentre.org

3 questions to: Rick Mulligan

In Germany interior architect Rick Mulligan is well known from his TV appearances giving advice and suggestions for home improvements. He sees his role as being the interface between high-quality craftsmen, and his clients’ individual wishes. As an architect, he facilitates the design and installation of a high quality home interior, and advises the client from the initial design of the house, through to the garden layout.

Mr. Mulligan: increasingly, outside areas are coming to resemble the living room with comfortable sofas, armchairs and carpets. But the fact is that in our part of the world, the outdoor temperatures are not often warm enough to sit outside. What do you think?
People are simply happy to be outside as much as they can and be close to nature; it combines the feeling of freedom with relaxation. Now we can use the warmth from infrared light to extend the duration of outdoor comfort; in the past our time outside in the fresh air was usually limited to summer. Added to that, in the past few years we have had wonderful spring and autumn weather; we should take maximum advantage of this bonus.

What are the main considerations when planning outdoor areas?
It is important that outdoor and indoor areas should harmonise with each other; if possible, the architectural interior concept should extend to the outdoor area. In addition, the general design should blend with its surroundings. Cast iron grills or miniature Japanese Zen-style gardens don’t go very well with an urban environment. Of course, the materials used must be able to withstand all kinds of weather. For example, there is now a new kind of material consisting of pressed wood grains that is ideal for outdoor use. Modern outdoor fabrics are absolutely brilliant and no longer hard as nails, as used to be the case. I even use these fabrics indoors, because they undergo no solar degradation.

Which colours and what kind of products are currently in demand?
Mulligan: I
n my opinion outdoor colours should not be too bold. When all is said and done, the aim is to relax and enjoy the green of nature about us. I think subdued, natural colours in the Hampton style are best; a good deck chair symbolises all that is best in outdoor furniture, and is comfortable even without any upholstery. By contrast, expansive sofas are ideal where you want to be seated for an extended period, for example in a food service environment.

Further information: rickmulligan.de

Helsinki is World Design Capital in 2012

While there are many awards that recognise individual accomplishments in design, the World Design Capital (WDC) designation is unique as it aims to focus on the broader essence of design’s impact on urban spaces, economies and citizens.

The designation provides a distinctive opportunity for cities to feature their accomplishments in attracting and promoting innovative design, as well as highlight their successes in urban revitalisation strategies. The World Design Capital is an initiative of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID).

Finnish design has a long and distinguished history. It is no exaggeration to say that design is ever-present in the Finnish lifestyle. Traditions are respected and the past is cherished, but above all, design represents the future. Finland is not interested in having a 365-day fireworks show. It wants to  go deeper into the new role of sustainable design from a broad perspective and achieve things whose impact will reach far into the future.

For further information: wdchelsinki2012.fi

Aalto University for example has a strong presence in the World Design Capital 2012 year with around 30 projects. The projects featured here involve particularly strong co-operative elements with multiple private, public and third sector partners.  The projects vary from social innovation, sustainability and urban design to future concepts and innovation.

For further information: arts.aalto.fi/en