For DonorsFor Applicants
user profile avatar

Arijit Patra

4985

Bold Points

2x

Nominee

2x

Finalist

Bio

I am a Master of design student at the institute of design, IIT Chicago learning to broaden my knowledge in the field of design thinking and strategy. Before this I worked as an architect in my firm 'Provectus tech consultants' that I cofounded in 2016. After working on multiple projects ranging from a super specialty cancer care hospital to a lab awarded the most innovative research lab of India in 2018, I decided to shift my focus in solving the socio cultural and technological problems of India that I experienced during my professional practice and joined the Institute of Design. I exhibit an entrepreneurial mentality, prefer to learn from experience and I am at my best when working in collaborative groups to solve problems. I am a design strategist at heart with strong skills in Ideation and Development, and with my experience working in architecture, I know how to turn concepts into reality. ​ I believe in sustainable co-existence and am in pursuit of making the world better both for human and non-humans with empathetic technology. My education at the Institute of Design is one of the steps in my journey and I am looking for more opportunities to realize my goals. Check my work at: www.arijitpatra.com

Education

Illinois Institute of Technology

Master's degree program
2020 - 2022
  • Majors:
    • Human Computer Interaction

Columbia University in the City of New York

Trade School
2017 - 2017
  • Majors:
    • Building/Construction Finishing, Management, and Inspection

Bachelor's degree program
2010 - 2015
  • Majors:
    • Architecture and Related Services, Other

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Environmental Design
    • Sustainability Studies
    • Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations
    • Human Computer Interaction
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Technology

    • Dream career goals:

      Creative Director

    • Researcher

      Illinois institute of technology
      2021 – Present3 years
    • Research and prototyping

      Illinois institute of technology
      2021 – Present3 years
    • Teaching Assistant

      Illinois Institute of Technology
      2021 – Present3 years
    • Intern

      Jamshedpur Urban Services Company
      2014 – 20151 year
    • Architect

      Yantra Architects
      2015 – 20161 year
    • Director of Design

      Projects Tech Consultants
      2016 – 20204 years

    Sports

    Badminton

    Intramural
    2010 – 20155 years

    Research

    • Virtual Reality

      Illinois Institute of Technology — Research and prototyping
      2021 – Present
    • Foods, Nutrition, and Related Services

      Illinois Institute of Technology — Researcher
      2021 – Present
    • Design and Applied Arts

      Indian Railways — Researcher
      2020 – 2020
    • Design and Applied Arts

      Kohls Children Museum — Contextual Research
      2021 – 2021

    Arts

    • Institute of Design IIT Chicago

      Speculative design
      An E-news piece from 2039 for context: https://arijityamaha.wixsite.com/thedailybulletin , Speculative Video: https://youtu.be/_p6q1e2iNYE
      2020 – 2020
    • Meherbai Tata Cancer Care hospital

      Architecture
      https://mtmh.org.in
      2018 – 2019

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Jamshedpur Urban Services Company — Cleaning the banks of the river every year on the cleanup drives. Afterwards participate in community engagement missions.
      2014 – 2016
    • Volunteering

      Motilal Nehru Public School — Guide high school students for their undergraduate studies.
      2015 – 2020

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    A Sani Life Scholarship
    I joined IIT Institute of Design (ID) in fall 2020 hopeful and with optimism for my masters. Although there were many challenges like Visa issues and online education I decided I should take the opportunity of this time of uncertainty at work towards my long due Master's education. My education at ID made me aware of myself and my peers around the world. I learned about people's culture, food, their habits, and the general routine of people in different countries. In truth, I got a global education experience, which was amazing. Things got better and I got my visa for the following semester right in time for my practical courses requiring in-person attendance. I had my fair share of anxiety and depression due to the changing conditions, however, I believe I have conquered through all of them and I can face uncertainty better in the future. We as students talked about this and came up with the term 'Adept at Adapting' or 'Adaptation'. I am amused by people's perseverance in making things work, almost every student, faculty & administration expected the best however the constraints. I think this ethos can move mountains and makes me hopeful that when everyone is on the same page, something as complex as climate change can also be solved. This pandemic taught us that we have tools to communicate beyond borders and became a case study that people can work as productive or even better without meeting each other. However, a positive and negative factor of this pandemic was showing people where the focus should lie. My home country India faced a huge crisis in managing Covid and is still struggling with it. Everyone can agree that our healthcare system wasn't prepared for this onslaught of crisis. Our elections were fought on division and caste-community-based politics, however, people are realizing more important issues are at hand and I hope this movement for a better healthcare system brings change. I remember back in the fall all of us would talk about the conditions of people within the pandemic in their countries within our projects. There were debates, conversations, idea exchanges, and many 'ah ha' moments. As someone from the design field advocating for 'human-centered design' I understood the power of this form of thinking to deliver more empathetic solutions which became a huge motivation for my education. Although sometimes I do think of the past and what could have been; there's a looming excitement for the future of what I can do.
    RushOrderTees Young Entrepreneurs Scholarship
    "The world would be a better place if there were more entrepreneurs than employees" It might be a controversial statement to make today because a counterargument can be made that it creates more competition that has resulted in overuse of resources, wealth imbalance, cut-throat competition, and poor quality of work-life. However in my opinion these problems only occur when entrepreneurs turn to become business professionals. Entrepreneurship is identifying a problem and creating a solution and then keep on iterating. There is no fear of competition since it only works as a metric to compare your solution, and if the other solution is better it's just going back to the drawing board and working out something better. If not then it's better to merge with the other and working for them. Pure entrepreneurs make great employees! If a company can retain them they are doing something right. But then how do they help society? Simply because they risk venturing into new problem space and solving them. We would expect self-driving technology to come from automobile companies like Ford, Honda, or GM, instead, we got Tesla from Elon Musk who in 2012 changed the paradigm of what the future of cars will look like. Then in 2016, George Hotz offered a 1000$ device that can turn most of the conventional cars on road today into self-driving vehicles with accuracy very close to Tesla's autopilot. Disruption like this makes innovation more accessible to society, whereas at 10000$ autopilot isn't very accessible, but at 1000$ open pilot is a viable alternative. In 2016 just a year after graduating from my undergrad college I left my private job as an Architect to co-found my architecture firm 'Projects tech consultants', a design firm providing one-stop design solutions. The existing firms were fragmented and clients had to coordinate between architecture, mechanical, electrical plumbing, structural firms. We were too small to establish as a complete design firm so we paired up with other building service consultants and built a professional agreement to present ourselves as a single building design firm. We got so popular that in 2018 a senior construction supervisor left his job and set up his construction firm to work as a partner enabling us to become a design & build firm. To stay as a disruptor we kept listening to our clients and constantly iterate ourselves according to their requirements. In 2019 we ventured into partnering with a cellular lightweight concrete block manufacturer used for making walls to come up with a low-cost version. We didn't succeed in reaching the refinement levels needed for the blocks to be used in buildings within the target price but the research is still going on. It might be a gamble that hasn't yet paid off, however, the blocks were good enough to be certified for secondary uses like boundary walls and partitions and every prototype takes us one step closer. Frankly, I never knew what I could earn while starting my firm, but my business partner said if we can achieve what we have planned to do, money would be the least of our concern and I have adhered to that. In 2020 I decided to shift my focus from architecture to look at the social, economic, & cultural problems of India that I experienced during my professional practice. To get the problem-solving skills I require in this space I joined the design thinking & strategy course at the Institute of Design, IIT Chicago. After getting enough experience I plan to venture into my next entrepreneurship in India to use technology in solving these problems.
    Bold Moments No-Essay Scholarship
    I worked as the principal Architect for the first 130 bed cancer care speciality hospital for my home state of Jharkhand in Jamshedpur, India. The project was completed in 1 year starting with research to identify patient, doctors, support staff needs and then quickly produce the design drawings for execution. Additionally we collaborated with an NGO to design collaborative garden spaces for terminal patients who needed constant care in the hospital for the rest of their time. We ensured it was accessible for all patients and came up with a garden where they can spend time growing fruits and vegetables.
    Nikhil Desai "Favorite Film" Scholarship
    My all-time favorite film is a media that was interactive, emotional & made me invest a lot of my time. No this isn't a conventional movie at all, but instead what I consider video storytelling redefined. Of course, I am talking about a video game. The game I am talking about is the space SiFi 'Mass Effect' trilogy from BioWare studios. Back in 2012 in undergrad college, I was hooked, not because of the gameplay which was great anyway, but the option of having conversations with in-game characters. Depending on the dialogue you chose the story changed accordingly. There was the option to make friends with a character, romance some of them, or even make them enemies as you chose. You can play the typical good person with dialogues that felt like moral lessons or a red-eyed badass cursing and punching instead. Essentially you feel emotionally invested, I can remember myself doing all the side quests and talking with everyone the game allowed me to explore the game to its core. I still see YouTube videos popping up with a gameplay scene that I didn't see because I played it differently. Some of the dialogues with my crew were so epic that it gave me shivers, and I felt it would be so cool to keep on having this conversation. I always wonder what the future of movies will look like, we see examples of movies in Virtual Reality, with your seats moving, artificial wind & smells leveling up the experience. However, I feel the future of movies will be the one where you can live through the character's experience personally. It might be hard for actors to shoot for this new medium, but the movies would turn out to be multidimensional instead of staying within the director's view.
    Mahlagha Jaberi Mental Health Awareness for Immigrants Scholarship
    I got my admit from my dream college for fall 2020 with a scholarship that helped me a lot with arranging the finances & loans. However, due to Covid19, I had to start my Masters remotely from India. It was in the hope that I would be able to come to the US since it appeared that it will get normal by the Spring semester. 3 months later the US embassy announced that they are starting student visas on an emergency basis, I immediately applied to the Kolkata visa center since it was closest to me. However, my emergency request was denied within 4 days without the possibility of reapplying. It was strange because all my other peers applying from Delhi & Mumbai were getting their emergency appointments without a problem. I was under high stress, if I couldn't join the semester in person I would have to delay all the practical subjects towards the end of the semesters which would be very difficult to manage. I got on Telegram, Facebook groups for visa, and asked agents, but they said getting normal visa slots then was highly difficult. I started hearing a high-pitched sound in my ears and couldn't sleep, after consulting a doctor he said I have Tinnitus which unfortunately is not curable. He told me to maintain good health and stay relaxed, but it was easier said than done. I had a loan, strictly planned to complete my master's in 2 years and I had left my own architecture company to pursue it. I got to know later from a Telegram group that the Kolkata embassy had declined everyone's emergency request because of a staff shortage. I was furious, how would a visa applicant know about this crucial detail? My only option was to hope for the best and keep on trying day & night for the normal visa slots that came randomly in single numbers, while balancing my studies within the timezone differences of India & the USA. Finally after trying for a month one afternoon I got the visa slot, the same day I got the update of getting a 4.0 GPA in 1st semester. So after a lot of struggle and overspending on air tickets, I got to the USA. Things are still not perfect, I am not eligible for a summer internship because I only have 4 months of stay in the USA instead of 9 as required for CPT. However, I got through my visa which was based on luck, while my summer work is still in my control. I am talking with my professors to get involved in their research & projects for the summer, and pursuing personal projects on sustainability. And I strongly believe I am on my way to learning the skills and strategy to solve the socio, economic, cultural issues back in India with technology led design thinking & strategy. My tinnitus is alway there, but it's faint and I have to really try to hear it.