map project office + kano design screen expansion for kids DIY computer kit map project office + kano design screen expansion for kids DIY computer kit
nov 24, 2015

map project office + kano design screen expansion for kids DIY computer kit

map project office + kano design display expansion for kids DIY computer kit
image courtesy of map project office 





after a very successful launch of the kid’s DIY computer kit back in 2013, map project office collaborates again with kano, to add another dimension to the experience with the ‘screen kit’. the modular design can now teach kids how alpha, gamma and pixels work by building the display together themselves. the 10.1 inch HD screen is clipped into the casing and the driver board for the display is clipped in place and connected to the LCD. there is a separate button board and cable to control the screen’s built-in functions.


‘when we set out to create an HD display that anyone could make, we knew we had a huge industrial design challenge on our hands’, explains kano co-founder and CEO alex klein. ‘we’ve been building creative computing kits alongside map for two years, and their wisdom, polish, and perfectionism are unmatched.’


kano’s explains the adaptable screen kit
video courtesy of kano




processing power is handled through the open sourced rudimentary raspberry ‘pi 2’ unit, which can be clipped into the back of the display, connected with the HDMI cable and powered up at the same time as the display with a splitter power cable. 


‘we’re really happy to be continuing our creative partnership with kano,’ describes map project office director, jon marshall. ‘since the original kano kit launched, a screen has been the number one request from the kano community. we’re proud to have created something that not only integrates beautifully with the kano kit, providing organization and portability but also deconstructs the elements of a screen allowing users to build it themselves and learn about the technology.’

kano-screen-kit-map-project-office-designboom-10the wedge shape offers stability for both vertical and horizontal orientations
image courtesy of map project office




the screen has a wedge shape to allow for two orientations, a vertical desktop mode, or a horizontal laptop mode. the wedge depth creates ideal stability and the perfect angle to view the screen in both orientations. ‘the wedge design was developed after researching how users currently interact with their kano kits,’ describes marshall. ‘our initial instinct with the screen was to make something very thin – like a tablet, but we noticed users interact with kano in incredibly diverse ways, so we developed the generous wedge design to enable the screen to sit comfortably on your lap with the screen angled towards you and also stand up by itself on the floor or on the table.’

kano-screen-kit-map-project-office-designboom-02the expansion prioritizes the simplicity for children 
image courtesy of kano




the display case completes the kano computer experience, where users can store the components like the keyboard and accessories. ‘our main design challenge was working with the fixed LCD panel size and getting it to relate to the size of the kano keyboard, which clips in place to create a pocket to store the accessories,’ clarifies marshall. ‘to perfect the design we made about 30 models and mock-ups in various materials.’  kids and adults alike can use the screen upright or flat on the table and can power it with a third party battery to make it truly mobile. 

kano-screen-kit-map-project-office-designboom-03the individual pieces in the kit
image courtesy of map project office 

kano-screen-kit-map-project-office-designboom-04the backplate attaches all the necessary components
image courtesy of map project office

kano-screen-kit-map-project-office-designboom-11the casing acts carrying pack 
image courtesy of kano

kano-screen-kit-map-project-office-designboom-06a detailed look at the casing
image courtesy of map project office

kano-screen-kit-map-project-office-designboom-07the keyboard slides into the case
image courtesy of map project office

kano-screen-kit-map-project-office-designboom-08the kano display kit packaging 
image courtesy of kano

kano-screen-kit-map-project-office-designboom-09the prototypes by map project office 
image courtesy of map project office 

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