Liberty bags student design prize

24th September 2004 at 01:00
Bag snatchers beware. Liberty Fearns, creator of an anti-theft device, has been named Audi Young Designer of the Year.

The 18-year-old from Ralph Allen school, Bath, came up with the idea after discovering that bag theft was a big problem in the city's bars and restaurants. Her metal device can be attached to the underside of tables allowing patrons to simply hook in their handbags and rucksacks.

The product design student survived a tough, 12-hour judging session at the Baltic art gallery in Gateshead at the weekend where she was grilled by industry professionals including Wayne Hemingway, the renowned fashion designer.

Liberty was one of 1,000 students who entered their A-level coursework for the most sought-after prize in the competition, also sponsored by The TES.

In the final, she was up against 19 other regional winners who were vying for the top prize, which includes pound;10,000 towards university fees, a Pounds 500-a-year bursary and paid international work experience with both Audi and product development company, Virdev Design.

Peter Kirkland of Dalriada school in Ballymoney, Northern Ireland, picked up the Mind to Market Award for the design with the most commercial potential. Peter, 18, will receive up to pound;8,000 and professional support from Virdev to help him develop his digital compass clinometer which is designed to help geologists take rock measurements.

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