Yves Béhar

American, born Switzerland

1967, Lausanne, Switzerland


Over the course of his career Yves Béhar has moved seamlessly from classic industrial design to the creation of "lifestyle products" and brand development. Born in 1967 in Lausanne, Switzerland, he studied industrial design at Art Center College of Design in Vevey. In 1989 he moved to California to complete his degree at Art Center's main campus in Pasadena. He founded his studio, fuseproject, in San Francisco in 1999. Béhar also teaches at the California College of the Arts (CCA), and has served as chair of their industrial design program since 2005.

Béhar recruited Johan Liden, a former student at CCA, to join fuseproject. Liden was responsible for a range of fuseproject designs, including everything from shoes to a hydrogen-powered scooter that made Timemagazine's Best Inventions list in 2001. Liden eventually departed fuseproject for positions at MAC cosmetics and Nike. He is now principal and co-founder of the studio aruliden in New York City.

For Béhar, the most important component of an object's design is ultimately "how it feels in your hands." This concern for tactility can be seen in his Transformer laptop for Toshiba, in which the keyboard folds back to serve as a stand that allows the monitor to function as an expanded screen, or his packaging-free solution for Devo underwear, which involves spraying the pants with a stiffening layer of protective corn starch that can be washed out after they are purchased. Béhar also designed a $100 notebook computer for the One Laptop per Child association, which aims to manufacture 100 million computers to be distributed among the world's poorest children.

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