Founders’ Circle

Yves Béhar

Founder of fuseproject

Yves Béhar is the founder of fuseproject, a San Francisco-based design agency contributing to areas that include technology, furniture, sports, lifestyle and fashion. Béhar brings a humanistic approach to his work; his goal is to create projects that are deeply in-tune with the needs of a sustainable future, connected with human emotions and which enable self-expression.

Examples of fuseproject’s diverse projects include the world’s first $100 “XO” laptop for Nicholas Negroponte’s One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) organization, which aims to bring education and technology to the world’s poorest children. fuseproject is now working on the laptop’s successor, the “XOXO.” Other recent projects include a partnership with “Jawbone,” a leading-edge mobile phone headset company; “LeCube”, a set top box for France’s premier digital TV brand Canal +; a recycling project for Coca Cola; a new identity and strategy for iGoogle’s home page; “MINI-Motion,” a new brand for BMW’s MINI Cooper; the LEAF light and other furniture projects for Herman Miller; and the NYC Condom for the department of Health of the City of NY.

The combination of technological innovation and design, or the notion of design ‘from the inside out’ is a hallmark of Béhar’s work. Béhar credits his design ethos in part to growing up in Switzerland with a Turkish father and East German mother; “I have a triad personality,” he explains. “There’s the warmer, expressive, story-telling culture of Turkey combined with an ethic of quality that comes from Switzerland, and the California tech-causal culture mixed in.” In addition to fuseproject’s commercial projects are many not-for-profit clients, underlining Béhar’s core philosophy that, “Design is a real agent of change. We need to initiate an emphasis on the notion of ‘Design for Good’; we have a responsibility to the world around us.”

Béhar’s innovative designs have garnered more than 150 awards and his work is in the permanent collections of museums including the Musée Nationale d’Art Moderne/Centre Pompidou, the MOMA, the Munich Museum of Applied Arts and the Chicago Art Institute. In 2009, Béhar was the one of two industrial designers invited to speak at Davos.