Monday, December 31, 2012

Shedworking Awards 2012


We've been running our annual prizegiving for a mighty three years now, an opportunity to give a pleasant pat on the back to some of the finest achievements in the shedworking world over the last 12 months. It's been another busy year and so without further ado let's move towards the first gold envelope...

Best design – It’s been another great year for shedlike designs. Most recently, the Forest Pond House (one of the designs up for an award on the AJ Small Projects award) caught our eye, but over the last 12 months we’ve marvelled at tents which looked like sheds, caravans which looked like sheds, floating sheds, rotating sheds, and naturally sheds like hobbitholes. In the end, the winner is as much about concept as design. Custom Built Surrey run by Mark Burton, does produce some nicely built shedworking atmospheres but what Mark is really trying to do is raise awareness of the importance and advantages of tiny house living. In the USA the movement towards living small is really snowballing. In the UK, there are some meagre signs of its emergence, but if it takes off then it will be in no small part due to Mark. Nice work.

Best blog/web site – 2012 was the year that Pinterest really made its mark on the world of sheds with boards popping up all over the interwebs celebrating garden offices and other small design wonders. But in the main while these were a delight to browse, they largely involved simply scrapbooking other people’s work. So it’s ‘traditional’ blogs which have won the day this time round. In joint second place are two blogs which detail the design and build of garden offices, http://buildgardenoffice.blogspot.co.uk and http://buildingastudio.wordpress.com/. Which means that in first place is http://shoeboxdwelling.com run by design journalist Natalia Repolovsky. While not specifically targeting shedworkers, many of Natalia’s posts are perfect for those in garden offices since they feature transformer furniture, desks, shelving and storage in general, all in a succinct yet illuminating style.

Best Tweeter  At its worst, Twitter is a platform for dullness and selfpromotion. At its best, it provides an insight into another world.  The @plankbridge feed from shepherds’ hut specialists Plankbridge was exactly this, always interesting, friendly without being imposing, frequently using photos and video to mix things up, and above all, genuinely reactive rather than simply using it as a broadcasting medium.

Best popularisation of shedworking – A former Shed of the Year winner, it was not the smoothest of years for Songs from the Shed run by Jon Earl. But despite the challenge of financing arguably the UK’s leading music venue, Jon and his impressive list of invited musicians have brought us some tremendous sessions in 2012 (as regular readers will know since we often highlight some of our favourites on Shedworking), and in so doing underlining that shedworking comes not only in all shapes and sizes but also sounds. Help to keep them going by donating to the cause on their site.

Readers' Award – This year’s RHS Chelsea Garden Show had many sheds – and in fact a shepherd’s hut too - on display. Indeed there was a whole separate area devoted to them. But this year’s runaway favourite as nominated by you the readers (in second place was the appealing George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces television series, closely followed by Jane Field Lewis’s excellent book My Cool Shed) was Jo Thompson’s Silver Gilt-winning show garden which featured a garden office-ish caravan, at least partly inspired by the Shedworking blog. It was a lovely garden, a marvellous caravan, and Jo is a smashing lady. Congratulations.

Lifetime achievement award – Lloyd Alter is not a shedworker (though he does have a marvellous outhouse) but this has not stopped him from promoting this blog almost from the very beginning, as well as being a critical friend of what we are attempting to do with it. Many of you will know Lloyd from his work on Treehugger.com where he shares his deep knowledge of the world of architecture and passion for a sustainable lifestyle with a large readership. He writes well, he’s generous, and he has a fine sense of humour. He is, in short, a big hitter and it’s a privilege to have him on our side.
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1 comment:

  1. I am completely devastated, I have designed over 500 different Garden Buildings and counting, and still no one gives me an award. OK...maybe next year!

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