Ace Lio

Bachelor of Media Design Graduate

Bachelor of Media Design graduate, Ace Lio, is the Founder of the mobile app 'Whistlebox' - designed to help others with road rage and management of stress. He has also worked on several other design projects including one for our very own All Blacks Rugby team.


What were you doing before you started studying at Media Design School? 

I was a part-time musician and web developer for many years. I had a disability that kept me from working full-time. 

What did you enjoy most about Media Design School?

I really enjoyed the challenges of assignments & projects as it kept me sharp and resourceful. I loved learning new things and was excited about technology and how it changed the internet landscape. 

How did Media Design School encourage you to choose your career path? 

I actually thought that upskilling on my existing skills was enough, but because of the evolving technology I had to keep learning. MDS provided guest speakers who introduced new ideas & innovations. It coaxed me to design with ’user experience’ (UX design) and equipped me to stay relevant. 

What advice do you have for students wanting to study at Media Design School?

Just be respectful towards other people and your peers. Try your best and not give in to peer pressure. I wasn’t there to make friends because I wanted to make something for myself and my family. It’s also important to embrace other people’s input, don’t compete and learn to network without burning bridges - because you’ll never know the person next to you could be your future boss or ally.

What were some of the initial challenges that you faced?

I was diagnosed with bi-polar & PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) so I found it difficult working with people. I was also the only 50 year old enrolled and everyone else were school leavers. So I had to wear a brave face, keep my head down and work hard. 

What have you been up to since graduating?

My end of year capstone project 'Whistlebox' has secured funding and I have been developing my app further for market and to roll out soon on IOS platform. It also made the headlines on TV3, News Hub & other media, and since then I have partnered with a company that will also pay me a salary and donate to charity!

To follow Whistlebox and Ace's ventures, please click the links below:



Whistlebox App