6 Minutes of Kano — Elliot Schneiderman
What is your name and job title?
Elliot Schneiderman, Product Designer.
What is your story? How did you get to Kano?
Born and raised in London, my mum was a fashion designer and my parents together ran an independent men’s clothing company, with my dad running the business side of things. Creativity and hard work were 2 traits heavily encouraged during my childhood.
In my 3rd year at St Martin's, Kano ran a project with our class, setting us the task of imagining the future of their product line. I really enjoyed the project and ended up having an interview at Kano a few weeks later, and have been here since (3.5 years).
Why are you at Kano?
Kano’s mission to promote creativity is something that I am extremely passionate about. Creativity is often marginalized to being an arts-based practice (and is something I found quite frustrating going to an academic school), but when seen more like a mentality it can be powerful in anything you do. It’s a tool to solve problems and make people view the world in ways they couldn’t imagine previously.
I’ve always had an interest in how the real world translates into the digital, from a young age obsessing over how realistic the graphics are on Fifa to the discovery of CAD when I was 16, it’s always amazed me how humans attempt to recreate and manipulate our world through digital mediums.
Tell us one thing you do every day? Every week? And then every month? This could be anything in your life at all.
Look for new music. I love British rap music and am always on the listen for new exciting artists with a different view of things.
I’m a huge fan of Tottenham Hotspur, my Dad and I will go and watch them every week if possible, but this year has been tough since fans haven’t been allowed in the stadiums due to COVID.
Monthly, I’m not so sure! I’m the type of person who lives their life on a day by day basis rather than planning a lot for the future — I would say getting down to an exhibition monthly is important to me. It’s probably my form of meditation.
What is the most fun part of your job?
Making. I’m in the lucky position of my team and myself having a beautiful workshop space where I can prototype ideas in many ways. Working with my hands on a daily basis is a great therapy to combat the many hours staring at my computer screen figuring out design details.
I’d also say testing prototypes with kids, we have partnerships with a few schools that we often use to test new ideas and run coding workshops. There’s not a much better feeling than when you see a kid’s face light up with excitement as they use what you’ve designed.
What do you see the future looking like for Kano?
We have an opportunity to mold and encourage future thinkers and Microsoft has been a huge support on that journey with the Kano PC. It’s all about changing opinions and mindsets from the peak we are at now where the world has quite a toxic relationship with technology.
I’m excited to see how Kano can break those pre-conceptions and challenge the big tech companies to rethink their approach to designing computing devices. The future is very bright for us, I have no doubts about that.
What does it take for someone to work at Kano? What skills do they need?
Hard skills, whilst very important in our day to day work, can be learned. In my opinion, the most important trait a Kano employee has to have is the desire to question why things are the way they are and how we can change them.
From there the hard skills you have will facilitate you in realizing your vision.