Judges' Choice Winner: Drumroll Please....

Design Showcase 2009

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The judges final selection is in, and it's surprising - all three chose widely and picked a total of eight great designs from the top twelve including four that didn't make it to the finals, but two of them lined up on one which tipped the balance. THE JUDGES' TOP PICK IS...

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....Soft-Maps by Emily Fischer! We didn't expect that one person would run away with the whole prize.

To get the judge's overall winner, we applied a simple three point scoring to each of their ranked picks. The one with the most points was the only one chosen by two of the three judges. You can see our final scoring below.*

But that's just the top pick, check out which designs the judges really liked and congratulations to Emily and all these designers on being personally selected by our judges.

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TINA ROTH EISENBERG aka SWISS MISS

Title: Blogger & Designer
Link: swiss-miss.com

Picks in Order:

1. Redeploy Rug by Rebekah Rauser
2. Soft-Maps by Emily Fischer
3. Constellation Chandelier by Kenzan Tsutakawa-Chinn

Redeploy Rug: My instant reaction upon seeing the Redeploy rug was wondering where we could put one in our home. The landscape pattern of the rug makes me want to touch it, lay down on it. It's an amazing beauty and I wish Rebekah could make me one with swiss military blankets!

Soft-Maps: Using a map as a quilt pattern is simply brilliant and instantly got my two thumbs up. It's equally visually intruiging as beautiful. I'd certainly proudly display one of these soft-maps in my house. How wonderful if we could get them custom made with the maps of our choice!

Constellation Chandelier: Kenzan's Constellation Chandelier convinced me in its simplicity and minimalistic beauty. Bring starry nigths right into your living room. Two swissmiss thumbs up.

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SANDY CHILEWICH

Title: Founder and Creative Director, Chilewich Sultan LLC
Link: chilewich.com

Picks in Order:

1. Good Books Shelf by Josh Neufeld
2. Le Petit Dej by Peter White
3. Nature Planter by Dominic D'Andrea & Tram Pham

The Good Books Shelf: I love the height and scale and feel that this dimension would naturally complement any room. It would accentuate the height of a ceiling which I always like (probably because I am short!) The obvious spaces that were designed for storing different size reading materials is functional and makes the surface when filled more interesting. The floating aspect feels light and modern.

Le Petit Dej: I see this concept almost more for commercial use...hotel room service trays...hospital trays. Because it requires a flower and would therefore look empty without one...it would force people to include a flower. A flower is always a welcome addition and would enhance any tray.

The Nature Planter: I love objects that are vehicles for self expression. This piece would reflect each persons individual style by their different choices and combinations of plantings. Each one would be unique…

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DREW SANOCKI

Title: Co-founder, Design Public
Link: designpublic.com

Picks in Order:

1. Soft-Maps by Emily Fischer
2. Hello Block Shelving by Kenn Archibald
3. Translucent Room Divider by Dan Forlenza

Soft-Maps: This product combines these for a real double-whammy. I like products that conjure up an emotional response. I think people have a certain emotional attachment to quilts and another emotional attachment to places. Personally, I'm obsessed with city grids, and the idea of putting one on a quilt is original and inspirational. If she could get the mass-customization elements down, this could be an incredible (scalable) line. I want one.

Hello Block Shelving: I love furniture that is uniform, modular, easy to assemble/disassemble, and easy to ship (in standard UPS boxes). Designers who think through manufacturability like this can hit lower price points, reap better margins, and achieve larger scale quicker. The Hello Block looks like it fits the bill, and it reminds me a bit of the Blu Dot Chicago 8-box.

The Translucent Room Divider: I love this product. It solves a problem that most of us in small apartments have: dividing the space while letting light through. I'd use this to hide my flat screen TV and components -- just tuck them away behind one. I think this product has a lot of legs, and I'd love to sell it.

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*Final Judge's Scoring:

5 Soft-Maps
3 Redeploy Rug
3 Good Books Shelf
2 Le Petit Tray
2 Hello Blocks
1 Constellation chandelier
1 Nature Planter
1 Room Divide

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.

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