Trophy Triumph for Sheffield Craftsman

21st July 2014

An up-and-coming Sheffield designer has been commissioned to craft a winning trophy for Sheffield Hallam University's annual business start-up challenge.

Recent Industrial Design MA graduate, Christopher Barr, has scooped the top spot after being announced as the winner of the Enterprise Challenge trophy design competition. The competition was open exclusively to recent Sheffield Hallam graduates who are currently self-employed and based in the Sheffield Region. The brief called for an innovative, contemporary and relevant design which represents the ethos of the Enterprise Challenge competition. Christopher's design was chosen for the final commission as it celebrates Sheffield's rich industrial heritage by incorporating stainless steel which was first developed by Sheffield metal worker, Harry Brearley and is the material from which Sheffield is famously dubbed the 'SteelCity'. Christopher's trophy was praised for his alternative approach to the theme of sustainability. Rather than simply interpreting sustainability as recycling, Christopher has chosen to focus on emotional sustainability. By emphasising the history of the materials used in the design and the time and effort put into the trophy's production, Christopher hopes to provide an antidote to the throw away culture we live in. Christopher said: "I didn't only want to design something visually appealing, but I also wanted to convey a message: by providing reasons for consumers to build strong relationships with their products, we can attempt to increase the emotional lifespan of these products - encouraging consumers to want to keep things for longer. Therefore, I have highlighted the significance of Sheffield's industrial identity by bringing together the rich wealth of industries and innovations, old and new, which Sheffield has to offer." The finished trophy is made up of several components which intricately fit together with a stainless steel rivet, mirroring Sheffield's manufacturing history. The font on the certificate of authenticity that accompanies the trophy is a Sheffield Typeface and the wood is finished with bee's wax from Sheffield bees. Christopher's design was chosen as the winner by a judging panel which included the next master cutler, David Grey and Ian Farquhar, managing director of Gripple, a Sheffield based company which has a partnership with Sheffield Hallam's design department. Ian said: "Each submission evidenced great skill, craftsmanship, and creativity, all established Sheffield qualities. Our winner chose to celebrate the history of enterprise in the area through the materials mastered by our craftsmen over the centuries." The winner of the Enterprise Challenge and the recipient of Christopher's trophy will be announced in October.

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