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The Editors Mailbox

Switchback Bookcase Wins Our Challenge

comments (11) August 4th, 2009 in blogs

Ed_Pirnik Ed Pirnik, Senior Web Producer
thumbs up 120 users recommend

Jones whimsical, yet utilitarian design earned your votes.
Jones clamped his stock into a dovetail jig at seven degrees off the normal 90-degree position.
Jones whimsical, yet utilitarian design earned your votes. - CLICK TO ENLARGE

Jones' whimsical, yet utilitarian design earned your votes.


Congratulations to Pete Jones, aka "blueberry1," the grand prize winner in our Creative Bookcase gallery challenge. Jones' combination of efficient use of space and imaginative layout made for a playful design that was easy on the eyes. Voters in more than 30 countries including Australia, France and Venezuela cast their ballots, giving Jones 16-percent of the vote.

The two principal design elements that caught our eyes were the slightly (seven degrees) offset dovetails and the decreasing height of each shelf unit. This change in dimension can be a rather efficient use of space for a shelf that handles everything from small paperbacks to chunky hardcover biographies. Jones has effectively cut out a great portion of the negative space we so often see in a standard rectangular bookcase. 

There's a small catch, however. It wasn't Pete Jones' bookcase that garnered the most viewer votes. An art nouveau piece by Strother Purdy, aka "Fideo3," actually came in at number one (26-percent). Trouble is, we noticed that Purdy is the author of a soon-to-be-published book by the Taunton Press. Since prizes cannot be awarded to employees or freelancers working with the company, our prize package goes to Pete Jones' bookcase, dubbed "Switchback." 

Purdy's piece is certainly worth mentioning, however. Made of solid pear, the graceful curves that give this bookcase its character flow together in a harmonious design that viewers really responded to. Terms like "breath-taking" and "ecologically fit" were par for the course for this entry. This stellar example of art nouveau isn't the only runner-up worthy of praise, however. Have a look at our round-up for other noteworthy designs.

Crazy Bookshelf

This seven-foot diameter circle of solid mahogany garnered 12% of the vote.

End of an Era

Coming in with 8% was "End of an Era," a comical take on the state of the print industry.

Modern Stacking Bookshelves

Some 6% of voters put their money on this example of modernist engineering.



posted in: blogs


Comments (11)

Fido3 Fido3 writes: Oh dear, what a mess I caused. My apologies to everyone.

I didn't realize there were eligibility issues and didn't think to look for them. My fault there in that assumption.

I also had no clue I'd win anything and frankly didn't intend to. I just saw a bookcase competition and thought to post my favorite and see what people thought, comments always being useful for my future designs.

Now I feel like the "End of an Era bookcase," sad and losing books (a very expressive piece).

Strother Purdy
Fido
Posted: 5:31 pm on August 25th

Fido3 Fido3 writes: Oh dear, what a mess I caused. My apologies to everyone.

I didn't realize there were eligibility issues and didn't think to look for them. My fault there in that assumption.

I also had no clue I'd win anything and frankly didn't intend to. I just saw a bookcase competition and thought to post my favorite and see what people thought, comments always being useful for my future designs.

Now I feel like the "End of an Era bookcase," sad and losing books (a very expressive piece).

Strother Purdy
Fido
Posted: 5:31 pm on August 25th

andybarss andybarss writes: GEIde: That's not a good analogy. In the Miss America contest, the same judges do a strict ranking of the entrants, so it's ompletely clear who the second-best-rated one is in case of a disqualification (like in olympics competitions as well).

You used a totally different voting system -- one reader votes for this bookcase, another for that one. You have no idea what the results would have been without the disqualified bookcase. None at all, and you need to address and acknowledge that.
Posted: 1:14 pm on August 5th

andybarss andybarss writes: GEIde: That's not a good analogy. In the Miss America contest, the same judges do a strict ranking of the entrants, so it's ompletely clear who the second-best-rated one is in case of a disqualification (like in olympics competitions as well).

You used a totally different voting system -- one reader votes for this bookcase, another for that one. You have no idea what the results would have been without the disqualified bookcase. None at all, and you need to address and acknowledge that.
Posted: 1:14 pm on August 5th

andybarss andybarss writes: GEIde: That's not a good analogy. In the Miss America contest, the same judges do a strict ranking of the entrants, so it's ompletely clear who the second-best-rated one is in case of a disqualification (like in olympics competitions as well).

You used a totally different voting system -- one reader votes for this bookcase, another for that one. You have no idea what the results would have been without the disqualified bookcase. None at all, and you need to address and acknowledge that.
Posted: 1:14 pm on August 5th

andybarss andybarss writes: GEIde: That's not a good analogy. In the Miss America contest, the same judges do a strict ranking of the entrants, so it's ompletely clear who the second-best-rated one is in case of a disqualification (like in olympics competitions as well).

You used a totally different voting system -- one reader votes for this bookcase, another for that one. You have no idea what the results would have been without the disqualified bookcase. None at all, and you need to address and acknowledge that.
Posted: 1:14 pm on August 5th

GEide GEide writes: Andybarss: If the grand prize winner is ineligible for any reason then the next runner up wins. Just like the Miss America pageant. There is not a "re-do." We do not have time to, say, do background checks on all our entrants verify their eligibility-- to make sure they are over 18, don’t live in places where the competition is void like Quebec or Puerto Rico, etc.

The winner, then, must sign an affidavit before receiving any prize.

In this situation we spotted the problem the day of the announcement so we were able to announce the correct winner right away, avoiding a retraction after the fact.
Posted: 11:59 am on August 5th

AchillEye AchillEye writes: To Peter. Your comments on Strother Purdy's piece were highly admirable, and fitting of a champion. However, Strother was not actually eligible to enter the competition.

Taunton Press said: "...we noticed that Purdy is the author of a soon-to-be-published book by (us)..". They should have noticed this immediately, not later. They messed up. This is an unfortunate incident, which no doubt take some of the shine off your victory, and that is regrettable.

You are the winner and I salute you.
Posted: 3:42 am on August 5th

blueberry1 blueberry1 writes: Kudos to Strother Purdy for his winning design! The craftsmanship on it is superb. I was flattered to be a finalist and Taunton Press has my permission to award the prize and recognition to Mr. Purdy, who rightly earned it.
Posted: 7:00 pm on August 4th

andybarss andybarss writes: With all respect to Pete Jones, I strongly urge the editor to reopen the voting in this contest, or award the cash prize to every one of the top 15. With more than a quarter of the votes disqualified due to editor error, the remaining results are meaningless. There is no way of knowing, without revoting, where the 26% of votes for Mr. Purdy's bookcase would have gone.
Posted: 6:23 pm on August 4th

andybarss andybarss writes: With all respect to Pete Jones, I strongly urge the editor to reopen the voting in this contest, or award the cash prize to every one of the top 15. With more than a quarter of the votes disqualified due to editor error, the remaining results are meaningless. There is no way of knowing, without revoting, where the 26% of votes for Mr. Purdy's bookcase would have gone.
Posted: 6:23 pm on August 4th

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