Olympic torch designer returns to Shrewsbury college

The creator of the 2012 Olympic torch, who was born and raised in Shropshire, returned to his former college yesterday where his design career all began.

Edward Barber completed a Foundation Diploma in Art & Design at Shrewsbury College in 1988. The award winning designer met with more than 30 Art & Design students to talk about his work and his career.

“It’s nice to be back,” said Mr Barber. “I enjoyed my time at Shrewsbury College. It was an amazing year; one of the best of my design education.”

Level 3 Design student Matt Robinson, 18, said: “The design of my final major project was inspired by Edward’s Tip Ton chair, so it was great to meet him in person. He critiqued the chair I made. He is quite an inspirational chap.”

Fellow student Liam Price, also 18, added: “Edward bought in a prototype of the Olympic torch, which was pretty impressive. It was brilliant to meet such a well-established designer. I’m going on to university after I complete my course at Shrewsbury College and aspire to have a career like his.”

The designer, who runs the firm BarberOsgerby with his business partner Mr Osgerby, beat more than 600 companies from around the world to win the tender for the torch. The 2012 Olympic torch was announced as the winner of the Design Musuem’s Design of the Year Award last month.

The Olympic torch relay passed through Shrewsbury today.

“Edward’s visit has been a real inspiration for the students,” concluded Shrewsbury College lecturer Ed Catley. “He has demonstrated how a career can develop after College and what can be achieved.”

Matt’s chair, which was inspired by Edward, will be on display at the College’s End of Year Art Show at London Road from Friday 15 – Thursday 21 June. Please click here for more details.
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