My Shelfmaker concept 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.


This new support bracket concept is formed from a single length of metal strip. To attach the shelf, the angled vertical portion of each bracket would be pressed inward, which would deflect this part of the bracket just enough to widen the top opening, and allow the shelf to fit into place. Once the shelf is seated, and tension on the bracket is released, spring action would hold the shelf in place. In practice however, finding the right material has been difficult, 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 Shelfmaker bracket. 


The renderings show two sizes of this unique bracket. Although Shelfmaker is correctly-sized for a small desk shelf, at approximately 8” tall, in renderings without a size reference, the scale is ambiguous, and the piece shown could easily be mistaken for a bench. In fact, the Mockett’s design competition judges initially thought that Shelfmaker actually was a bench support leg…! And so Benchmaker was born, as a support leg for minimalistic seating, like the museum bench illustrated here.