Member profile

Kristin Zimmerman

World Traveler
628 West Kalama Ave
Madison Heights, Michigan 48071
United States


University: MIT

Year of graduation: 2015


I am a creator.  My passion lies at the intersection of art, technology, and storytelling.  The course of my life forever changed the summer a built a 17-foot long dragon in my basement: I realized that people could make awesome things for a living.  

I have loved the act of creation for as long as I can remember.  Back in high school I took AP Studio Art; my concentration was The Juxtaposition of Imagination and Reality, which focused on bringing the imaginary to life in perfectly ordinary surroundings.  I ended up exhausting the art classes at my high school and moved on to engine and power where I learned to weld and forge steel.  Fast forward and I’m a freshman at MIT.  While studying for finals I decide that building a giant dragon in my basement will be a good de-stressor.  At the end of that summer I have a 17-foot-long freestanding dragon and a desire to major in mechanical engineering so I can bring my art to life in the real world.  I graduated with that engineering degree and enjoyed many projects along the way.  I worked much of my undergraduate career at the MIT Media Lab.  This culminated in an undergraduate thesis on networked collaborative play structures.  I was specifically looking at tangible interactive experiences in which people interacted with their surroundings, each other, and remote participants.

I worked as an engineer in the automotive industry for 3.5 years post-graduation as I wanted to see what a purely technical role would be like.  I became lead simulation analyst for multiple upcoming vehicle architectures, developed code that is used across many teams at the company, coached design thinking workshops, and ran multiple design thinking clinics with potential customers.  I've found that, although I am good at engineering, where I thrive is in creative environments.  After deciding that engineering was not the right path for me I took five months to travel the world and see what is out there.  I spent a few weeks volunteering at a cheetah conservation project in South Africa (doing everything from giving tours to gutting chickens), sailed as training crew from South Africa to France on a tall ship (a voyage of over two months), travelled around Europe taking workshops and visiting interesting themed entertainment destinations, and explored Montreal with TEA.

I arrived back in the United States quite recently, rejuvinated and ready to work on projects that kindle passion.  I'm a maker.  I want to make awesome things and create authentic experiences that inspire people, bring them together, make them think, and immerse them in stories.  My Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) mechanical engineering education, background in art, passion for creative storytelling, and love for hands-on creation will aid me well in this endeavor.


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