February 21st, 2012
02:32 PM ET

Yves Behar: 'Great design is something that everyone can have'

Even if you've never heard his name, chances are you've come across one of Yves Behar’s extraordinary designs. Maybe you've jammed on some tunes using the sleek-looking wireless speaker Jambox. That's one of Behar's designs which, by the way, was just nominated for 2012’s Designs of the Year Product Award. Or maybe you've take a spin on his “local bike”, designed says Behar, for a “new generation” of bicycle riders, who want to transport their kids and groceries near home. If not you must have seen photographs of children using the iconic green $100 XO laptop. The One Laptop per Child XO (OLPC) Laptop was founded by MIT Media Lab’s Nicholas Negroponte, who worked with Behar, and his San Francisco design firm Fuseproject to make a low-cost laptop specifically for children in developing countries. More than 2.4 million children in 25 countries received the XO Laptop. And now after six years of collaboration with Negroponte, Behar designed the next generation XO-3, the gorgeous laptop in tablet form.

Behar has taken design to a whole new level by devoting a good part of his business to the non-profit world. He says, "Design must tap into the giving element of our profession. It must be deeply in-tune with the needs to create a sustainable future, deeply connected with emotional needs, and deeply self-expressive.”

After dozens of profit-making ventures, Yves and his team devote 10 to 30% of their work every year, and countless hours of their own time, to pro- bono projects like the OLPC laptop. “There is no reason why design can’t be attainable. Great design is something that everyone can have,” says Behar. And after the success of the XO Laptop and tablet, Behar and Fuseproject collaborated with the Mexican Government to design low-cost eyeglasses for children. The “See Better to Learn Better” program provides poor children with free eye exams, and adorable, brightly-colored (and unbreakable) specs, delivered right to their schools. Hundreds of thousands of children are sporting these specs. The kids even get to pick their own frame and color combinations!!

Tune into The Next List on CNN 2 p.m. ET on Sunday to see the full 30-minute profile of design hero Yves Behar.

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Filed under: Art • Design • Innovation • Social change • Tech • The Next List • Video
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. scir91onYouTube

    how many times are you going to show the stupid cnn next list logo?

    April 2, 2012 at 11:25 am | Reply
  2. justicefor7

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    Neal W. Dias

    March 3, 2012 at 11:49 am | Reply
    • JLR

      crazy much?

      March 31, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  3. CurtisTheGeek

    Flash required....really, it's 2012!

    February 28, 2012 at 11:42 am | Reply
  4. michael eldridge

    out standing individual a real american who cares i would vote him for president in a minuet a dooer not a talker

    February 26, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  5. marcos anthony toledo

    How much does Yves Behar four wheel bicycle cost and where can I buy it. How far can I go around a city or out in the country with it. Looks great and simple to use how many speeds does it have transport and exercise combine great.

    February 26, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Reply
  6. Debbie

    I agree with Jude... How can kids right here in US that are low income benefit from this company? If they can, how and where can I go to get more information?

    February 26, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  7. saltizio

    Where are Yves products manufactured?

    February 26, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Reply
  8. mikey2ct

    What is more important to me gentlemen is whether and when this laptop is going to be available for OUR children and grandchildren. PJ: you exemplify what is wrong with this market-driven economy.

    February 26, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Reply
  9. Jude

    Wonderful to help those needy around the world – but there are many- many here in the USA in the lowest middle income bracket that cannot afford unbreakable glasses for their children or even think about a compuiter when food on the table is much needed. Yes they have jobs – probably more than one and pay taxes; but fall through the cracks of programs that aide the poor. How can they benefit from this company???

    February 26, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  10. Lt.Surge

    "Great design isn't just for the elite"....

    But it sure helps if you are.

    February 25, 2012 at 7:50 am | Reply
  11. andreedfutral

    Your Auto Insurer hates this. You can get Car Insurance for even $9 check "Clearance Auto" learn the secrets of auto insurance industry and save money

    February 23, 2012 at 5:13 am | Reply
  12. Adrian

    I wonder how many times they can put "The Next List" into one video before someone goes insane.

    February 22, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Reply
    • Joaquin M

      I know i must have seen that next flip book thing 20 times. yaakkk
      And is this a comercial for yves or for the next kid laptop. not sure

      February 22, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Reply
  13. MeMc

    Yeah,@ PJ. The rotary phone was a moneymaker for decades. No inovation. Point disproved.
    If a computer can be had for less than a textbook, then why not make it available to societies that don't have access to education.
    think of the possibilities.

    February 22, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Reply
  14. Conor HEaly

    Am so glad to hear of the 2.4 children that you have provided with laptops.

    February 22, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Reply
    • Johnson

      Sorry Conor,
      The article reads "2.4 million children", not 2.4 children.

      February 24, 2012 at 10:41 am | Reply
  15. PJ

    Is it a money maker? If its not a money maker who needs it? Market driven products drive innovation, this thing is about as dumb an idea as I have ever seen.

    February 22, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  16. Jiggajon

    "2.4 children in more than 25 countries"? So 2 kids and a infant traveled a lot with laptops in tow?

    February 22, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Reply

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