Artists and designers, as a general rule, want to make an impact on the world around them. Artists try to open the eyes and minds of their audience to a new way to see the world. Designers try to reshape the world by pushing the limits of convention or creating styles that intrigue consumers in a way that resonates with all who experience their designs. There are, arguably, no more effective artist/designers in the world today than Yves Behar. Behar is not simply trying to change the world in an abstract way; he is using technology.
Yves Behar is the founder of Fuseproject and, just as significantly, the Chief Industrial Designer of the XO laptop for One Laptop per Child. At Fuseproject, Yves Behar creates memorable designs that revitalize or strengthen brand association with consumer products. As Chief Industrial Designer at One Laptop per Child, Yves Behar is positively changing the world. While the business sector of the technology industry seeks to create laptop computers that are powerful, desirable and built with planned obsolescence in mind, Behar designed the XO laptop to be easy-to-use, inexpensive to produce and durable in the world’s harshest climate. While big business focuses on profitability, Behar has prioritized humanity and charity.
It is little surprise that Yves Behar is such a strong proponent of helping the impoverished and flying in the face of social convention. When the Swiss-born Yves turned nineteen, he rejected offers from several prestigious universities to attend an art school housed in a three-bedroom apartment! There, he learned how to draw and how to create compelling designs. Even early in his art career, Behar managed to capture what was essential in the subjects of his art and present it in a new and vital way to his audience. After his humble initial artistic training, Yves Behar was accepted into the Art Center College of Design in California. Behar graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Industrial Design.
Since graduating, Yves Behar has rapidly become one of the most influential designers, especially in the tech sector. As Chief Creative Officer at Jawbone, Behar was responsible for the popular design of products like the Jawbone Aliph. Behar is both the Founder of Fuseproject and a designer for the company. In that capacity he has influenced more commercial design elements – both in product design and advertising – than any other single individual in the past decade.
The real crowning achievement for Yves Behar is arguably the development of the XO laptop computer for One Laptop per Child. Behar turned the traditional business model around to help create a powerful laptop computer for the One Laptop per Child charity. Designed to cost only $100 to produce, the XO is durable, functions in bright sunlight and near-darkness and even connects to Wi-Fi networks! Behar designed a laptop that is functional and remarkably stylish. Through that, he is aiding developing nations in improving education, communication and freedom.
Very few people will do as much good in their entire lifetime as Yves Behar has done so far in his; that makes him exceptionally cool.
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