Photo story: Microsoft DesignIT 2008 Winner and Art Gallery

DesignIT is intended to encourage creativity in UK IT. Discover this year's winner - an IT project to help a youth homelessness charity - and view photographs of the artwork in the accompanying art exhibtion.

Microsoft today announced the winner of this year's Microsoft DesignIT competition. This is the third year of the competition, which aims to encourage and recognise creativity within information technology in the UK by rewarding an innovative charity project with funding.

The 2008 winner was James Elliott, with his submission of a 'Virtual Rucksack' project for homeless young people, on behalf of the St Basil's charity for youth homelessness.

Elliott's winning project, which will now receive £15,000 towards its implementation from Microsoft, intends to create a 'virtual rucksack' online in which young people can keep the information and records that they need in order to access the resources available to them, along with resources from support services working in health, housing and careers.

The system will also incorporate a digital record of case histories that will help the St Basil's team to provide personalised support to young people accessing their services.

Remarking on his win James Elliott said:

Too often IT Professionals are seen as the uncreative boring people in an organisation, hopefully my entry will challenge this stereotype. My design will provide tangible benefits to the services which St Basil's is able to provide. IT people are able to deliver real insight when they work on genuine business problems.

Alongside the competition, Microsoft are also holding an exhibition by students of the London Art Classes, showing art work inspired by the projects entered into the contest.

Our photo gallery from the Microsoft DesignIT Art Exhibition at the Music Room Gallery in central London begins with an image inspired by Elliott's winning Virtual Rucksack project.

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