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Yves Behar

Change Lab Episode 10: Yves Behar on Designing Technology for the Social Good

Swiss-born entrepreneur and ArtCenter alum Yves Behar is the design world’s reigning rock star. His virtuoso career was built on his passion for using technology to advance sustainability and improve lives around the world. In the nearly two decades since founding, fuseproject, his industrial design and branding firm, Behar has become a leading force in establishing design’s crucial role in shaping the present and future of the digital economy.

Equally important to fuseproject’s business model is a deep commitment to the social good. Partnering with various non-profits, Behar and his team have produced such groundbreaking products as One Laptop Per Child, which distributes portable computers to children in developing countries, and See Better to Learn Better, which distributes low-cost eye glasses to those in need.

Jawbone

I want to get people off their screens; and that means we need to predict human behavior.Yves Behar

Behar’s commitment to socially innovative design means that every project he undertakes must address an actual human need rather than simply produce a nice-to-have piece of gadgetry. From his concept for Samsung’s The Frame (a smart television that transforms into a framed work of art) to his design for the the Snoo smart crib, which reliably rocks babies to sleep—Behar is committed to creating technology-driven products that foster human connection and solve more problems than they create.

In our wide-ranging conversation, Yves discusses his most innovative products, his emerging inclination to question conventional wisdom about whether thinking drives innovation or vice versa and how the DIY punk movement fostered his passion for making and disruption and his desire to make products that empower users to prioritize quality time with family and friends over screen time.

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