KIBO is an on going gender neutral toy project for children or even adults collectibles.
The concept behind KIBO is to erase gender assignment for toys and make KIBO available for anyone of any gender identity. The goal is to erase the norm and limitation of what kind of toy children can play with based on their gender.
The once finished work turn into just a prototype in my eyes when I saw so many possibilities coming from the concept after my critique for this piece. unlike most of other projects that are mostly done within weeks, KIBO is a building toy designed through 4 months research, prototyping, market, and material testings. The concept behind KIBO is for people to play with detachable wooden blocks and smaller geometric parts that can be built into an anthropomorphic, robot like, or abstract shaped company. I named this project KIBO after the Japanese character for tree (木. read: ki. /kee) and (希望. read: kibou. /kee-bō) because of the material and the hope I carry within this toy's concept (and why Japanese characters? Looking at everything I've made they all just tie back to my childhood it seems). with KIBO I attempt to fight the traditional gendered toys in the industry and the way traditional dolls affect children's awareness of their own body shapes, skin color, and other physical insecurities starting at a young age, I chose wood as the material and geometric shapes to steer away from that but instead focusing on working on their building skills.
all of the KIBOs are customizable, you can mix and match any parts, and you can even make and add your own parts with simple tools such as traditional hand drill.
With KIBO, hopefully children can learn and explore their building skill and endless creativity.
in the future, I would like to expand this project to be more affordable, accessible, and more educational. future research are needed. website and instruction booklets will follow.