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Shelfmaker won a First Place in the 2016 Doug Mockett Design competition.


Desk shelves are popular office accessories, with many options already available in a variety of materials, such as melamine panels, formed metal, and molded plastic. However, there are no supports which can easily…and most importantly…without tools, turn a simple board (either ½” or ¾” thick) into a desk shelf. I imagined this would be something like a spring-loaded, clip-on bracket, but searching uncovered nothing like that. Shelfmaker was my response.

The renderings show two sizes of this unique bracket. Shelfmaker is approximately 8” tall, and sized to create a small desk shelf. The design scales so willingly, the bracket could easily be mistaken for a bench support leg; in fact, that's what the design competition judges initially thought they were seeing...! And so Benchmaker was born, a minimalistic leg bracket, for applications like the museum bench illustrated here.

In either size, the plan is to form the bracket from a single metal strip, and then, to attach the shelf, the angled front portion of each bracket would be pressed inward, deflecting the frame enough to widen the top opening, and allow the shelf to slide into place, whereupon tension on the bracket would be released, and the resultant spring action holds the shelf in position. In practice however, it's been challenging to find the right material/thickness combination to make this plan work, so we’re developing and prototyping new bracket designs which meet the strength and flexibility requirements, while still preserving the floating, minimalistic character of the original concept. Stay tuned...!

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