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Yves Behar: Man for all Species

Is Yves Behar the new Leonardo?

Everybody's favorite product designer, Yves Behar, was a one-man design lab last week at New York's International Contemporary Furniture Fair.

For starters, he was the genius behind the coolest lamp at the show. His LED "Leaf" lamp for Herman Miller, looks like a Mobius strip, and uses 40% less energy than conventional bulbs. Its lifespan is a remarkable 100,000 hours —- a good thing, since it costs a pricey $525. At a Soho party in his honor, Behar regaled guests with the lamp's cool touch controls that operate like an iPod's flywheel: One lick for the cool-warm spectrum (fluorescent to incandescent), the other for intensity (from cozy dimness for romance to brilliant, land-your-aircraft here wattage).

But that's not all! This boy wonder has also produced a crazy looking high chair for Calla, that looks like the grammaphone in those old Victrola, "He hears his master's voice," ads.

But, wait — there's more! Not content just to create for design groupies and trendy babies, Behar is reaching out to the animal kingdom, with a collection for Gino and Dog that the kids at the California College of the Arts designed under his direction.

Add to this, the work he did with Crispin Porter for MINI Cooper and chandeliers he designed for Swarovski crystals and you wonder: does this man ever sleep? Or maybe that's when he gets his best ideas. I'd love to see the sketch pads by his bed....

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  • woof

    Leonardo?? I'm assuming ...di Caprio! Such an outrageous comparison to da Vinci would show a completely superficial
    understanding of art history. These kinds of statements do a
    true diservice to truly talented individuals.

  • teppo

    Very interesting. In academic circles there is often a question of how much to attribute to individuals and how much to their surrounding group/team (or environment and society) in innovation/creativity. For example, some argue (e.g., sociologist Tia DeNora) that Beethoven and his music was a product of his time (Mozart as well - Gladwell has argued this), while others support more of a lone genius model (e.g., philosopher Peter Kivy). Anyway, Yves Behar seems to provide support for the lone genius model.