Synergist Yves Bèhar

Oct 5, 2009
Outside Magazine
Yves Behar

On Bèhar: Nautica solid long-sleeve button-down shirt ($70); Gap Best crewneck T-shirt ($18); Kohzo Raw Crinkle Denim low-waist straight-leg button-fly jeans ($550); Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars ($45)

When Bèhar was 16, he decided to join his two greatest loves, skiing and windsurfing. He built a scary contraption resembling a Flexible Flyer with a mast and used it to tear across frozen lakes in his native Switzerland. These days, as one of the world's most sought-after industrial designers, the 42-year-old continues to make surprising combinations. His firm, Fuseproject, which he founded in San Francisco in 1999, provides a unique service to clients, melding product design, branding, and market strategy to compose "seamless experiences and seamless stories" for consumers. Though he's worked with a diverse list of big labels—Swarovski, Samsung, Birkenstock, and many others—he gravitates toward startups, including One Laptop Per Child, for which he designed the $180 XO computer and a new tablet version, due in 2010; and Mission Motors, which had Bèhar design an electric motorcycle that looks right out of Blade Runner. "There is an expectation that things should be designed ahead of the energy curve," says Bèhar. "But an electrical motorcycle should still make you feel macho."

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