Design student Aloke Pillai wins prize in mWomen Design Challenge

alokeYork/Sheridan third year design student Aloke Pillai has won a $10,000 prize for his mobile interface design in the international 2013 mWomen Design Challenge. The competition – sponsored by Australian Aid, US AID, Qtel and GSMA – challenged designers to create a smartphone interface that first time users can understand quickly and easily (more about the competition here: The challenge was launched in response to studies that suggest that giving smart phones to resource-poor families in Asia and Africa is socially empowering.

Aloke was informed about the competition by his father from Qatar – who like the best of fathers saw the word “design” in an article and clipped it to send to his aspiring designer son – and he spent his two week Christmas holiday developing the platform for Android. This was not the first time that Aloke had confronted the challenge of designing technology for social empowerment. In high school in Qatar, Aloke worked with AMMA charity, which focused on job creation in developing regions through computer-driven skills development.

Aspiring designer no more, Aloke can now call himself a pro, after beating out professionals from around the world to achieve optimal functionality through design. We at Sheridan College’s Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design have high hopes for what he will accomplish after graduating from the York/Sheridan Bachelor of Design program next year.

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