The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is pleased to present the exhibition
Yves Béhar fuseproject / design series 2. On view from March 26 through October 3, 2004, the exhibition features more than 30 objects by industrial designer Yves Béhar. Organized by Joseph Rosa, SFMOMA Helen Hilton Raiser Curator of Architecture and Design, design series 2 continues the series of exhibitions highlighting the work of emerging architects, graphic designers and industrial designers at the forefront of their disciplines. The objective of the design series is to identify and provide exposure for artists and designers who have not yet had a solo museum exhibition. A small-format catalogue will accompany the presentation.
Béhar is the founder and creative director of fuseproject, a San Francisco–based brand development and industrial design firm. Dedicated to the development of the emotional experience of brands through storytelling, fuseproject’s work includes products, fashion, graphics, packaging, environments and strategy. Béhar’s ideology is founded on the construction of a conceptual narrative that guides interaction with the designed object. This ideology has allowed Béhar to move seamlessly from classic industrial design to the creation of actual lifestyle objects.
Yves Béhar fuseproject / design series 2 is divided into six thematic sections—move, step, touch, hold, connect and expand—and features such innovative works as shoes for Birkenstock’s 2003 line, Footprints: The Architect Collection; automobile accessories including a tent, driving shoes and a backpack for the Mini Cooper; Teflon-coated cashmere windbreakers designed for Lutz and Patmos; a computer designed for Hewlett Packard; perfume bottles designed for haasprojekt and Philou and several other works.
Béhar’s bottle design for spacescent perfume (2000) is an extraordinary exercise in negative space. The perfume itself is enclosed in a classic vial-shaped chamber and is surrounded by a brick of clear resin bordered with a slim band of red. In spite of its transparency, the brick exaggerates and emphasizes the protected zone around the precious fluid. Another work in the exhibition is the 2004 Toshiba Red Computer. The seventeen-inch laptop with red lacquer finish is designed for adaptability using a complex hinge, allowing it to convert from a laptop presentation display to a viewing screen for personal entertainment. Béhar’s martini glass and shaker designed for Bombay Sapphire are also included in the exhibition.
The exhibition also features several works from Béhar’s 2003 collection of accessories for the Mini Cooper. The two-part shoe, manufactured by PUMA, combines a soft, flexible inner moccasin, ideal for driving, with a stronger, treaded exterior for walking. The Gore-Tex jacket integrates map pockets, a small detachable bag, and an extension that flips down in the back to become a portable seat. The watch has an oversized digital display that switches from horizontal to vertical depending on the position of the driver’s arm.
The exhibition also highlights architectural works such as Béhar’s Friend Concept Store (2003). This mixed-use space in San Francisco combines a retail store with an art gallery and a community gathering space—a hybrid environment where design objects are both exhibited and sold. The space itself is an architectural prototype intended to encourage public dialogue about design. Also featured is an architectural work called The Dream Room (2001), a conceptual space enclosed by wall-size LCD displays. This “digital wallpaper” can be programmed to mimic ordinary walls decorated with hanging pictures or it can project floor-to-ceiling scenes of the outdoors or other vistas, creating the illusion of a landscape that extends beyond the room. This technology works much like a television or computer screen to blur the boundaries of the space both visually and psychologically.
Béhar’s work can be found in the collections of SFMOMA, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, the Munich Museum of Applied Arts and the Chicago Athenaeum Museum. He has received honors from ID Magazine, the New York Art Directors Club, Time magazine and the Businessweek/IDEA awards. Swiss-born Béhar studied industrial design in Europe and the United States and holds a B.S. of Industrial Design from the Art Center College of Design.
The first artist featured in the design series was architect Lindy Roy. The exhibition ROY / design series 1 highlighted six projects and approximately 15 drawings, models and computer animations—all created within the past four years—presenting Roy’s innovative work for the first time in a museum environment.
Yves Béhar fuseproject/design series 2 is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and has been generously supported by an anonymous donor and the LEF Foundation. Additional support has been provided by the Consulate General of Switzerland in San Francisco, Presence Switzerland, and swissnex.