Liberty Fearns is the first female winner of the Audi Young Designer of the Year competition. Liberty, 18, who studied A-level product design at Ralph Allen School in Bath, took the top prize with her bag security device which attaches to tables in bars and restaurants allowing customers to hook their bags securely to it. The design impressed the judges who included Wayne Hemingway, Kevin Rose, the director of Audi UK and last year's winner Alex Lyne.
Liberty says: "I have enjoyed everything from the moment I entered. It has been really good seeing work from other students that is of such a high quality." She is now studying product design at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London so the pound;10,000 tuition fees and pound;500 a year bursary for the winner will come in handy.
The other big winner was Peter Kirkland, whose digital compass clinometer won the Mind to Market award for the most commercial design. Peter, who attended Dalriada School in Ballymoney, Northern Ireland designed the clinometer for his brother, a geology undergraduate who previously had to use two separate instruments to measure the direction and inclination of rock structures. The aluminium-encased device displays real time measurements which can then be downloaded on to a computer. Peter who is now studying avionics at York University, will receive up to pound;8,000 to help him develop his design for possible commercial sale.
Peter Kirkland and Liberty Fearns were two of the 20 short-listed students that attended a judging day and awards ceremony at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead. All of the designs were displayed at the BALTIC for a week after the awards ceremony.