The Judges' Award 2011
Maxwell Ryan
Oct 10, 2011

Thanks to Christiane Lemieux (DwellStudio), Rob Forbes (PUBLIC) and John Berg (BergDesign Architecture) for serving on our esteemed panel of judges. The readers' choice is here, and our judges' top pick is UNANIMOUS....


Design: The Prop
Materials: ABS translucent-frosted plastic
Price Point: $16
Designers: Nicholas Pajerski & Justin Brouillette
Location: Lincoln, NE

The Prop is a well designed, affordable and portable laptop stand. Functionally, the Prop slightly lifts your laptop off any surface, creating better airflow and improved ergonomics. It disassembles quickly and can be stored compactly in your desk drawer or bag. Unlike other bulky laptop stands and non-portable cooling devices, the Prop is designed to travel and work in every situation (salad tongs?).

>> The Prop - Finalist Post
>> The Prop - Submission Post

Congratulations to the winners, Nicholas and Justin, who will receive $10k in advertising on our network and daily emails. The judges offered insight into all their picks — read more about their favorites below.


To get the judge's overall winner, we applied a simple four-point scoring system to each of their ranked picks. You can see the final scores at the bottom of this post.*



Christiane Lemieux

Founder & Creative Director

Voting & Personal Commentary

1. The Prop
This is a great product. These designers have pulled the whole concept together down to the well executed packaging. The design is simple but very effective which is the hardest balance to strike. I see great commercial potential for this product. They should roll it out at apple stores all over the country.

2. Nook Coffee Table
I think David's design is both visually interesting and functionally well thought out. I think he really solved the design problem of a coffee table that doubles as book shelf and storage for small spaces. I think there is real commercial value in David's design. In my litmus test of form and function David work gets a top mark.

3. The Block desk and Quartet Chair
I was really moved by the story of Sean's design. I applaud the fact that Sean is using amazing American craftsmen and high quality manufacturing to make his innovative furniture. The result is elegant, beautifully made and well thought out. There is nothing better than a perfect joint.

4. Belize/Chauras Duvet Cover
I think Shilpa did a lovely job of using traditional block printing with great design and eco friendly processing. All of these elements make this a strong and very marketable product. The mix of pattern, the color story and versatility of her designs should earn her calls from interested retailers.

Rob Forbes


Voting & Personal Commentary

1. The Prop
This is my first choice. Great simple solution to a problem that frustrates all of us who have table and desk tops that get disfigured from the heat of the laptop. Very versatile. The price point is terrific. I'll buy the first ones off the production line.

2. Nook Coffee Table
Second. Nice balance of function and proportions. It's very adaptable to a range of uses and it solves that perennial problem of where to put the stuff that collects on your table that you only need occasionally. There are lots of aggressive hard angles here but the piece feels quite friendly and intimate.

3. Secret Passageway Switch
Third. High marks for uniqueness of concept, very clever. We usually take light switches for granted and rethinking their function and place in the home is fresh. It makes you want to find a use for it.

4. The Block desk and Quartet Chair
Fourth. This reflects a super high level of handmade craftsmanship. The details are well thought out in all functional areas; the chair looks very comfortable and the storage compartments are intelligent and useful.

John Berg


Voting & Personal Commentary

1. The Prop
I see the prop as an essential component for the mobile office of people who live at all times an arms length away from their laptops. The design is simple, durable and true to the molded plastic material. Could the plastic be one of these new bio degradable polymers?

2. The Block desk and Quartet Chair
I don't see the block desk and quartet chair as necessarily being of the same family but each is the construction and finishing is beautiful. The desk is a muscular somewhat utilitarian piece which would be elegant in a modern interior. The chair which looks simple but boasts very refined detailing would compliment a variety of environments.

3. Six-Pack Ring Pendant Lights
These pendant light fixtures are stunning to look at not to mention the use of recycled materials. Simple, elegant and versatile. This kind of ingenuity is so obviously timely.

4. Nook Coffee Table
I could see this piece in many New York Studios where space is at a premium. The most appealing aspect of the piece for me is that the table does not have a defined front or back. The concealed joinery strengthens the folded plate design which implies a non static composition, making the viewer want to experience the table from all angles.

12 The Prop
7 Nook Coffee Table
6 Block Desk & Quartet Chair
2 Secret Passageway Switch
2 Six-Pack Ring Pendant Lights
1 Belize/Chauras Duvet Cover Set

Design Showcase Main Page
Design Showcase Judges

See you all next year in September 2012!

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