It has truly been an outrageously busy July. Now that we are almost at the end of it, we are also now at the end of this year's Cool Tools Bench Awards. It's been such a fun campaign to follow and I would like to personally thank every single person who took the time to participate, comment, exchange notes and share their spaces. We hope to do something like this again next year but until then, on with our final batch of winners!
Thank you to everyone who entered and participated, we hope you all enjoy our winners' announcements and continue to discuss and share your tips, tricks and suggestions for how to build a truly cool bench.
Man (or Lady!) Cave Bench (Best use of personal space for a bench)
And indeed, this award went from being the 'man cave' award to something a little different. So many members submitted such wonderful benches and workspaces of all types that we were having a hard time picking just one that made the most of personal space. But this entry by alaa_salam was one that came with such an amazing story. This space isn't just a personal space - it's something more. It's a space that Alaa, along with the other members of the Lamba Labds Beirut Hackerspace, adopted as their own and invested time and equipment to run. Maker spaces like these offer up the opportunity for people to share and learn from each other and we loved reading about it. Thanks for sharing with us, alaa_salam.
A few comments from the judging panel:
• Really enjoying reading about how this maker space came about. I feel this is the ethos of what the Community is about - sharing information and knowledge and offering up a space to explore.
• Loved seeing all of the different photos that this member uploaded. A feel-good story that offered some insight into how people join together for a common goal.
• Mess and neatness all in one!
Jury Rigged Award (Most improvised or makeshift repair or bench)
Does it get more improvised than a bench atop a large appliance in what looks to be a kitchen? In his entry, wymand mentions that he was temporarily in an apartment and therefore carved out space to work wherever he could find it. When I first saw this photo, the familiarity jumped out at me immediately - it looks like my desk at the end of a week full of meetings, notes, a rush to find a pen that works and after losing my work badge for the fifth time that day. Therefore, it's a very well-trafficked, high-use area.
Some comments from the judging panel:
• Is the 'bench' on top of a stove?!
• This is what I call an authentic, untouched work area!
• I don't know what to look at first here but kudos to this member for making it work wherever they can.
• True dedication to the craft.
Time Machine Award (Best piece of Retro Tech on display)
Our last batch of winners all had some really great stories behind them and our last entry was such a cool one to see. Among the many discussion threads, this was as image that kept standing out. genebren shared these 'retro' tools straight from his grandfather's collection and we were happy he did!
From the peanut gallery:
• This was not a space per se, but this share was truly a cool thing to see. We all start from somewhere.
• Let's see more antique and heirloom tools!
• Very cool
Congratulations to our last three winners and again, to all of our winners of the Cool Tools Bench Awards! To all of our winners for the month, if you have not yet received an email or private message from one of the element14 staff, expect one in the coming days. We want to make sure everyone gets some fun swag along with their Cool Tools.
This was such a rewarding event for us to put together and was something that we kept coming back to for the last two months. The kind of discussions and sharing that you all do on the Community is what makes element14 special and makes our day every day. We can't wait to do something like this again next year!