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My Quick Summarize

 

My name is Reut Kersz, I was born and raised in a kibbutz in the north of Israel. I have an older sister and a twin sister; my mother, Miriam, is a nurse who dedicates her life to our surrounding community, in charge of healthcare but also a good listener and spreader of warmth; My father, Haim, is a mechanical engineer who has educated his daughters by the value of craftsmanship, and the kibbutz ideology supported that concept as well. So it happened I grew up to be a woman who loves contributing to her surroundings, always keeps herself busy and ponders about “the next big thing” that will influence people and change their lives.

When I started studying in Shankar College, I realized my goal is to influence people with good UI design and better experiences. That is where I met Noa Bichovsky, a lecturer who thought me in “Interaction Design” course, 2008, about the importance of detailed research of people’s problems. I've learned that this is the method to make good products.

 

An example for that would be one of my college projects, aimed at finding a solution for children suffering from food allergies, as Celiac. My Idea was to create a unique device they would wear as a necklace, used to scan barcodes on food products, and allowing them to receive updated allergenic information. If allergens are found, the UI will offer alternative options without the allergenic ingredient. The goal of this exercise was to go through the entire cycle of a product: focus a problem - research it - define a target audience (I interviewed kids suffering from food allergies) - think of an appropriate solution - make a prototype + design the GUI.  This is an image of the prototype I’ve made, in early 2008, as today it probably would have been a smartphone app. 

From all the courses I've attended, I was influenced by Noa’s course the most. It clarified my desire to change life with design.

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2 - With a similar perception, my final project at Shankar College was “Caroline”, a control system for vehicles, connected to vehicle's computer upon ignition, and to driver's smartphone via Bluetooth, communicating by voice interface. System's graphic interface is projected over a see-through panel, located between the dashboard and the windshield. The project was considered highly innovative at the time (2008-2009), and is still acclaimed in the faculty to the date. I am also familiar with two startups working on devices with similar traits; devices as such are highly requested by the automotive industry to combine in the newest smart cars.

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3 - In the past 5 years (since my graduation) I’ve been working in the UX-UI field in studios and as a freelancer. I was fortunate to work not only on standard web or mobile projects, but also on interfaces for unique devices and screen sizes:

  • ATM machines - for “Mizrahi-Tefahot” Bank (3rd biggest bank in Israel)

  • The Landa Nanographic Printing® Press machines - 100’’ touch screen tailor made industrial printing machinery for the acclaimed entrepreneur Benny Landa  

  • Control interfaces for medical care (Thales’ Roentgen rooms and Hospitech’s ventilation machine - Respiratory Guard System)

  • Many more, as you can see in my Portfolio

4 - Apart of my day job, I’ve managed to be active in a few independant projects, such as:

  • Designing the brand of “Shelanoo” (translates to "ours"), which is an Economical-Social-Cooperative, it's goal to open a food chain store owned "by the people". I’ve escorted them through the entire process, from the first sticker, through the cooperative’s website, and up to the first store opening.

  • Brand Design for the “Israeli Game Industry Conference - GameIS” for the past 4 years.

 

Both of the projects I've contributed voluntarily for the sake of building a new community.

5 - Recently I’ve come to a conclusion I want to break out of the boundaries of flat 2D screens, and started looking for new directions. On August 2014 I took an Arduino crash-course, combining design, electronics, and robotics.

Needless to say I adore the field, and created as a final project an automatic flap-door for cats, operated by a motion sensor.

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6 - That was not the first time I took part in the "Hackathon culture"; Creation combining electronics and craftsmanship are another passion of mine. "Geekcon", is a yearly event I've been attending, aiming at making pointless products, just for the fun of making. 

Two examples for that are our “Roller Coaster for smartphones”, a short mechanical ride for the beloved device, which shoots a video and screams at the right spots; and “Room texture map projection”, a simple arrangement which changes a modeled room's look and feel magically.

All of the mentioned experience guides me to develop my ideas and practice my skills further, and quite frankly I cannot imagine a better place to do so than the graduate school Media Lab MIT.

 

I feel I’m a proper candidate for Media Lab, as what I would imagine matches the typical student profile – holding various talents, Ideas and dreams, eager to learn new things, ambitious and desire for developing communities and society, as well as the ability to execute.

Studying at MIT will help me “connect the dots” and open doors to places that really matter in improving people’s lives.