Modern Design with Yves Béhar
A groundbreaking designer, Yves Behar is as famous for his furniture and accessories as for his commitment to sustainability. But the Swiss-born entrepreneur discovered his design philosophy during childhood and from an unlikely source – the Turkish rugs around his house.
“Being a child, and sort of crawling around the house, I remember these Turkish carpets,” Béhar said during a TED talks appearance. “There were these scenes, these battle scenes, these love scenes. I mean, look, this animal is trying to fight back this spear from this soldier. And my mom took these pictures actually, last week, of our carpets, and I remember this to this day.”
The intricate details and storybook patterns so characteristic of antique rugs left a lasting impression on the future designer. So much so that his career was shaped by the art of storytelling.
“What I remember today from this is that objects tell stories, so storytelling has been a really strong influence in my work,” he said.
Take Béhar’s C Collection chairs for HBF. Created as office chairs that are both recognizable and stylish, he illustrates how work styles are moving to casual collaborations mixed with new technological tools.
Other pieces, like the Fly Bench, play even more on our sense of familiarity. Created with oak and stainless steel, it is a timeless design that is contemporary and expressive.
Eco-friendly messages are also part of Béhar’s design philosophy. By creating products that tell stories, he creates an added value for customers. The LED Leaf Lamp for Herman Miller is a great example of this. It’s structurally expressive, and works as a power saving, long-lasting LED light without screaming ‘green design.’
By bridging storytelling power with a talent for creating stunning work, Béhar has illustrated one thing more. That through design, one can raise awareness for issues that transcend products.
“I think it’s the values that we put into these projects that ultimately create the greater value,” Béhar said in his TED Talk. “And the values we bring can be about environmental issues, about sustainability, about lower power consumption. You know, they can be about function and beauty; they can be about business strategy. But designers are really the glue that brings these things together.”