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Submissions Expanding Slipcase - Research competition

At the beginning of this year we announced our first research competition. Most bookbinding competitions are focused either on the craft (is it well made?), or on the visual side (does it look nice?) but rarely is ingenuity rewarded, even though it is one of the superpowers of bookbinders, and (at least in our opinion), the fun part!

With this competition we hope to stimulate innovation, and bring new designs into the world which we hope can become part of bookbinders' repertoire.

The subject of our first research competition was to come up with a design for a slipcase capable of expanding and contracting in the width, a feature which could have practical applications for things like magazine collections, sample presentation, or any collection of items of the same size whose number is likely to increase or decrease over time.

The challenge sounds simple... but to come up with a slipcase that allows the incremental increase (any measurement between 30 and 60mm), while staying sturdy, keeping its content safe, and looking good in the process... turns out to be very difficult.

So it was with great pleasure that we received 22 submissions from around the world. 

On October 9th the jury (Benjamin Elbel, Nadine Werner and Marja Wilgenkamp) examined all submissions. The jury has chosen the Out of the box prize winner.

So we have a winner, and a good one! This was an unanimous decision by all three members of the jury. We also asked the public to pick their favourite. So we selected the 10 best (including the winning design), photographed and filmed them as well as we could, included the maker's statement. 549 people voted and we have a clear winner of the Public Prize.

Next to these 10 there were some other really interesting designs which didn't make it to the top 10. Unfortunately. They didn't meet the requirements of expanding increments or couldn't stand on their own, hard or complicated to manipulate, too weak etc. However some of these slipcases have a lot of invention and beauty, we will share them with you at some point later so... stay tuned! 

Big thanks again to all the participants and the voters.

It can take a while before all the photos are loaded. If you can't see the photos and videos then click on the red links in the description texts below.


WINNER OF THE JURY PRIZE

Cora Rijper
The Netherlands

The jury was unanimous about this design, which is sturdy and safe for its content in all positions of the range (30mm to 60mm in width), is easy and intuitive to manipulate, and is aesthetically striking. An instant classic with much potential for variation (materials, colours, proportions). Congratulations to Cora Rijper!

Click here if you can't see the photos and video.
'This slipcase is a design by me and my partner Bianca. The construction consists of a middle part (the cassette) and two extendable compartments. The side walls of the cassette are hidden in this. Initially we let the sliding construction move with metal rods. Although it worked, it turned out to be quite vulnerable and hard to construct. At the last minute the idea arose to replace the rods with a ‘block’. This turned out to be stronger and much simpler.'

WINNER OF THE PUBLIC PRIZE

Emmy van Eijk
The Netherlands

Emmy van Eijk's design stands out through its audacious concertina construction and playful design. 549 people in total cast their vote (big thank you to everyone who took the time), of which Emmy received the most amount: 100 votes. Congratulations to Emmy van Eijk!

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'The three walls of my expanding slipcase are made of a single sheet of paper, folded into a very dense accordion-fold. This way, it is expandable while staying closed (protecting the content from dust) and it makes for an almost solid material, which can therefor hold a book/booklets. I’ve woven elastic thread through the expanding walls, so that it moves back to its smallest size. Like any good first prototype, there is room for improvement and further development. But for now, I am glad it works the way I imagined it!'


Susanna Borsch
The Netherlands

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'My slipcase should be a comfortable and safe home for the tutorials, as such they are ‘bookbinding out of the box’, as referred to on the back when completely extended. The slipcase is made of grey board, bookcloth, covering paper and cotton bands. Glues: PVA and hide glue for extra stiffness. The design of the covering paper on the inside, originally designed for a metro line, refers to the function of the box - it is meant to move! Both parts of the box are interlocking with an extra rim on the inside, hidden within the design, preventing them from coming apart completely. Cotton loops on both sides help to adjust the width for accommodating more tutorials, but fold away neatly when placed on a shelf between books.'

Paul Garcia
United Kingdom

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'The outer case is made from 1mm Gemini millboard. The inner walls are fitted with ‘W’ shaped springs that allow the inside space to expand and contract according to the number of books inserted. The springs are constrained within slots built into the fixed and sliding walls.
A sample of the spring is enclosed.'

Bart Wassenaar
The Netherlands

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This slipcase can stand on its own, offers a minimum of 30mm and a maximum of 60mm wide storage space, has no protruding parts and a few more specialties that I will describe below. Place the slipcase in front of you with the purple side on the left and the green side on the right. You will see two orange ribbons running around the slipcase. The orange ribbons are tied into the bottom of the slipcase, emerge at the bottom of the purple side, run over the top to the green side. On the green side of the slipcase you will see the ribbons ending in a loop. Hold the loop and pull the ribbon away from the green side. You use this to pull a double-folded piece of ribbon from a slit. Place both loose ribbons on the purple side next to the slipcase. Place your thumbs on the inside of the slipcase and your fingers on the outside. Carefully pull both halves apart until you feel the blockage. At the blockage, the slipcase is extended to the maximum 60mm wide storage space. The blockage is a specialty of this design that ensures that both half parts cannot come apart. Now put the tutorials in the storage compartment of the slipcase and push both half parts together until the tutorials fit snugly. Fix the slipcase in this position by picking up the orange ribbons, guiding it tightly around the slipcase over the top to the green side and inserting the folded piece of ribbon into the slot that matches the current width of the slipcase. The system of double-folded pieces of ribbon that are inserted into slots for fixation is the second specialty of this design. 

Materials used to make this prototype are: 1, 2 and 3mm thick cardboard, decorative paper, cloth, linen yarn, pieces of plastic. Glues used are PVA and starch. Finally, the deeper parts in the front can be used for the title of the content and the author. The title in the purple part and the author in the green part. 

Prisca Joubert
France

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'Expanding slipcase made of polypropylene (composite material) by the technique of 3D printing. The idea and design is by me, modeled and printed by Philippe Joubert. The operation will be explained in the video.'
 

 

Heike Zobel (1)
Germany

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'Named after a character from Hugh Lofting’s Doctor Dolittle, I call it ‘Pushme-Pullyou’. Used materials: Paper (Gmund/f-color Glatt/423 nussbraun), Cloth (Bamberger-Kaliko/Iris 101/871 madeira), cardboard, double-sided adhesive foil, sheet-steel, magnets. How to use it: Put your fingers inside the empty slipcase and spread them to enlarge the inside space and press the two parts together to decrease the interior space again. Thanks to Markus Weiss who cut the steel sheet for me. Addition: It is possible to separate the two parts of the slipcase, but it’s not necessary.'

Heike Zobel (2)
Germany

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'Used materials: white cardboard 350gsm, elastic band, double-sided adhesive tape.
How to use it: just fill it and when you are close to 6cm there is a small piece of cardboard inside, you can fold down + use as a floor.'

Silke Thiel
Germany 
 

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'2-piece slipcase connected with 2 rubber bands, made of 0.8mm and 1.5mm cardboard, covered with elephant skin paper. Due to the rubber bands the slipcase expands the more books are put in. When you take a book out it will shrink again. I built it myself.'  

Bruno Cadiou
France

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'Soft hinged case, in two adjustable parts. Materials used: 1.6mm cardboard, metal plate, extra fine adhesive, magnetic adhesive sheet, magnets, glue paper, Japanese paper, Shin Inbe Awagami 65gsm, kraft, leather.'

 

 Photo above: Marja Wilgenkamp, Benjamin Elbel, Kieke Schaaper and Nadine Werner.

Big thanks to all the participants (from left to right, top to front): Cora Rijper (NL), Irmtraud Ruttner (FR), Jurre Bouhuijs (NL), Lisa Merkin (USA), Kerstin Engström (SE), Bart Wassenaar (NL), Silke Thiel (DE), Paul Garcia (UK), Laureline Harm (FR), Bruno Cadiou (FR), Susanna Borsch (NL), Prisca Joubert (FR), Ting-Hsuan Lu (TW), Pilar Calahorra (ES), Heike Zobel (DE), Terrie Reddish (NZ), Emmy van Eijk (NL), Elisa Lecchini (IT), Daniel Kelm (USA), Katja Kuennemann (DE).

 

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