Yves Béhar is all about the future. “I believe design’s purpose is not only to show us the future, but to bring us the future,” he says. Take his latest design—the GE WattStation™, an electric car charging station that sits on the sidewalk like a really good-looking parking meter. Béhar says the device is “a small, soft, and friendly dispenser of electricity” meant to “accelerate the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles” by making it easy to charge them.
He’s also committed to promoting sustainable ways of living and consuming, creating a wide range of eco-friendly designs. His new kind of shoebox—actually a box/bag combo—uses 65 percent less cardboard than a standard shoe box, has no laminated printing and no tissue paper, weighs less in shipping, and replaces the plastic shopping bag. For us, Béhar has designed the Leaf and Ardea office lamps, which use significantly less electricity than conventional bulbs, and the innovative Sayl chairs, which are almost entirely—93 percent—recyclable.
The Sayl family of chairs is Yves’ latest project with Herman Miller and his first foray in designing chairs. With Sayl, Yves and Herman Miller were able to combine beautiful design, first-class ergonomics, elegant engineering, and respect for the environment into an outstanding, reasonably-priced chair.
As for his own future, Béhar says he's content designing products for companies that are "looking for departure, change, transformation. I'm continually excited working with people who want to move forward into the future and onto the next generation."
San Francisco, California
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