Are You In? Have You Voted?

Are You In? Have You Voted?

Maxwell Ryan
Sep 19, 2011

We've got the best of grassroots new design right here. Our 2011 Design Showcase is off and running with a whole slew of new submissions coming in over the weekend. The best submissions are posted daily and voting is open for four days, which means that voting is opening and closing daily right now. Got a great design? Get it in by Wednesday, 9.21. Want to vote? Check out new entries daily right up until next Monday, 9.26.

>> Design Showcase 2011 Leaderboard & All Entries
>> Most Recent Entry: Seena Lamp by Randall Kramer

Got a great design? Let us help you make it big.

This time two years ago we launched our first ever Design Showcase, with the intention of giving a bunch of independent designers a really good soapbox from which to pitch their work. For the lucky finalists, we also wanted to give them even more exposure and see if we could help to boost their careers to a whole new level. Guess what? It worked. In the past 24 months, our winners have had tremendous runs, getting picked up by major newspapers and magazines and watching their businesses skyrocket.

It's time to do it again.


This month we're putting out the call for great, new designs by independent and student designers that promise to make our homes more beautiful and inspiring places to live.

We'll post the best submissions, allow the readers to vote and then give six finalists an unprecedented chance to feature their design and themselves by building their own original post on our site during prime time at the end of September.

Two winners will then be chosen (1 judge favorite and 1 crowd favorite) and each given $10k in advertising on our network and daily emails (if the same design is chosen by both sides, that person will win $20k). This is a golden opportunity to craft an even more personal message and get it in front of our audience of over 7 million monthly readers.


2010 Reader's Choice Winner - Bottles of Hope by Peter Sid

From Peter:

Hi Maxwell,

Going into this competition I was a complete unknown. Although I am a professional artist in Hollywood, I had never shown my furniture to anyone beyond friends and family. In the year since the Design Showcase, I have officially started my own design and furniture business, I have developed a really cool line of furniture which is currently in the final stages of design before manufacturing. I've been featured on blogs from around the world, and increased my visibility and credibility as a designer greatly.

I am most proud however of having "bottles of hope" shown in a museum alongside some of the hottest emerging designers today. I went so see Arik Levy's Chandeliers at the Santa Monica museum of art only a few months before entering the Design Showcase. I would have never thought my work would have been shown in a museum only a few months later. It even got me a little blurb on Elle Decor!

If I can pass on a word to anyone thinking of entering this year... DO IT... NOW! I came very close to not entering simply out of the fear of being judged. Looking back, I can't imagine if I hadn't. It was a truly great experience, and I am very proud to have been a part of it!


-Peter Sid

2010 Judges Choice Winner - Cat Hammock by Tamar Gilad

From Tamar:

Hi Maxwell,

The competition increased traffic to my website and resulted in additional orders. Even a year later, people sometimes find me through the apartment therapy website. I truly appreciate having had the opportunity to participate in the designer showcase competition.


This year we're going to run just like we did last year and open submissions today. So, if you've got a great design or a friend who does AND you want to get it out there, now's your chance.

Note: Voting for each submission is open for 4 days (96 hours) this year.


2010 Winners Post
2010 Contest All Entries Post
2010 Judges Post

2009 Winners Post
2009 Contest All Entries Post
2009 Judges Post


This year's judges have not yet been announced. Last year's judges were Amy Butler, David Netto and Aaron Lown & John Roscoe Swartz of BUILT.

Who Can Enter?

• Independent & student designers from all over the world
• Design couples and teams are welcome

We're looking for folks who need exposure and a big push to get them to the next level. Already designing for a big company? That's okay, but send us stuff you're doing on the side. We want to help you, not the big company.

What Designs Are Eligible?

• One original design that has reached prototype stage or beyond.
• No designs are eligible that have been purchased by or licensed to another company.
• Designs can be for home furnishings, accessories, lighting, appliances or textiles.
• Only one design per designer, please, so choose your best design. If you submit more than one, we'll choose the one we think is best.

If it goes into the home, we're open to it. It can be decor, furnishing or materials related, just don't send us a car design.

What To Submit?

• Your name and contact info
• Materials description
• Your pitch! (@ 200 words)
• A link to your site if you have one (hey, it's 2011, every designer should!)
• Image of design drawing
• Three photographs of prototype or finished product (This is important. You must have taken it at least to prototype stage.)
• One photograph of yourself (Feel free to dress up and look as important as you feel).

Give us your best pitch, and your clearest product shots. Remember that first impressions are the most important.

Dates & Deadlines?

• Submissions accepted until September 21
• Submissions posted from September 6-26
• Finalists notified on September 30
• Finalists posted the week of October 3

The early birds will get the worm. We won't be able to post everyone, and are currently reserving 30 slots in September. We'll notify you if we post you or if we don't, and reserve the right to decide editorially whether or not a submission is strong enough to share with the crowd.

Note on Voting

Though you are allowed to ask your friends and family to vote, only one vote is allowed per person. If we find that any voting has been hacked and that one person has voted numerous times, we reserve the right to either throw out the votes we can identify or discount the submission entirely.

Got a great design? Let us help you make it big.

Submission Form

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