‘Morphing Shelf’ takes top Design Quest award


The shape of Joshua Carson's Morphing Shelf varies depending on the object it supports. Courtesy Design Quest

Entries were submitted from 13 countries this year for the 2012 Design Quest Furniture Design Competition in Grand Rapids, with the grand prize awarded to Joshua Carson of Franklin, Wis., for his Morphing Shelf.

Second prize went to Reed Hansuld of Toronto for Rocking Chair No. 2, and third went to Olena Sydoruk of Westland for L Stool. Carson’s shelf also took the People’s Choice Award.

Carson receives the $1,000 top prize for his shelf, plus $200 for the People’s Choice award. His shelf has a changeable shape, depending on how it is used. An object placed on the flexible shelf may cause it take a curvilinear form and once it is removed, the shelf returns to an upright position against the wall, to save space.

Thor Sorensen, a co-owner of Design Quest and one of the judges, said Morphing Shelf “joins art and function,” and was “the boldest entry this year.”

Other judges were Fabienne Munch, director of new product commercialization at Herman Miller; Rob Scheper, a design director at Steelcase Inc., and Jorgen Sorensen, founding partner and CEO of Design Quest.

Design Quest celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Jorgen and Meg Sorensen were teachers in Arizona before opening their store in Grand Rapids in Gaslight Village in 1972. They started the furniture design competition in 2007.

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