We can’t wait for the Greener Gadgets Conference next week, and the thing that we are most excited about is superstar industrial designer Yves Béhar‘s opening keynote presentation on his latest tablet PC design for the One Laptop Per Child Project. Béhar is known around the world for his fun, innovative and humanistic designs for things like the Herman Miller LED Leaf Lamp, the Mission One Electric Motorcycle and the XO $100 Laptop for the One Laptop Per Child project. We caught up with him to chat Greener Gadgets and find out a little more about what inspires him as a designer. More after the break…
JILL: How did you get your start as designer? Is ‘industrial designer’ what you said you wanted to be when you were a kid?
YVES: Actually yes, I wanted to be an industrial designer since a child, and it was a good way to escape the gray-banking suits of my childhood in Switzerland. Seriously, I feel very lucky to have found at a young age something that is still part of my everyday curiosity and discovery.
JILL: What is your favorite product you’ve ever designed and why?
YVES: I think the One Laptop Per Child represents the biggest shift in both design and technology thinking: it is a product and services for the developing world’s children that is truly conceived and designed to specifically adapt to their lives, while making technology approachable, emotional, and low-cost.
JILL: You have designed some products that are considered icons of ‘green design’ (Herman Miller Leaf Lamp, XO laptop), but ‘green’ isn’t an overt theme throughout all of your work. What does the term ‘green design’ mean to you? How do considerations of environmental and social sustainability factor into your design process?
YVES: Environmental and social sustainability are an essential tool I use to design products that are relevant in our lives…it is what makes design ideas smarter and more beautiful in the minds of people today.
JILL: Where is the business of industrial design headed? Are there any new technologies, practices or materials you are particularly excited about for the future?
YVES: The business of industrial design and brand design is becoming the corner-stone of business as a whole: no design = no business