The Lie Detector Test: Yves Behar

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words Justin McGuirk

JM What's your name?
YB Yves Béhar > Truth

JM How old are you?
YB I'm 41 > Truth

JM How much money do you make from each laptop that you designed for One Laptop Per Child?
YB I reimburse the office expenses rather than make any money per se. > Truth/High stress

JM Do you use one?
YB Yes. I've used one in my home and in my office but not as much as I wish. I'm a slave to my Apple. > Truth

JM Do you think every child should have a laptop?
YB I think every child should have a way to access modern education. So the laptop is one of the ways but I believe there are other laptops and other ways. > Truth/Excitement

JM Do you think anyone has ever stolen one of your designs?
YB Many times. In fact on the website we have a blog item called followers. We post designs that have either been rip-offs or designs that have been heavily inspired by ours. > Truth

JM Have you ever stolen or borrowed an idea without acknowledging it?
YB No. Once or twice I ended up designing something that resembled someone else's ideas and tried to eliminate that before it was too late. Unknowingly I have created some things that were some rarities from 30 years ago. > High stress/Inaccurate

JM Whose the most difficult client you have ever worked with?
YB In many ways the most difficult isn't so pejorative in some way. > Subject not sure

JM Have you ever worked for any pigheaded ignorant clients?
YB Yes, but it usually doesn't last very long. I can get pigheaded myself sometimes. 
> Truth/Subject not sure

JM You've just designed what's billed as the fastest electric motorcycle. Is it sustainable?
YB Well I think the question would be, on the one hand you do a $100 laptop and on the other hand you do an expensive toy for rich people. What is important to me is creating a relevant experience for the particular person that it's supposed to be used by. So kids in developing world we really try to create a very specific experience for them. Similarly because you create a motorcycle doesn't mean that you have to suddenly downgrade the experience to something sluggish and boring and that lacks macho attractiveness that riding a motorcycle has. > Not sure/High stress

JM Do you have one?
YB Not yet. But they are being produced this fall so I'm going to get one next spring. I've never ridden a motorcycle before. > Truth

JM What's the most you have ever been paid for a design job?
YB Well I'm not sure I want to give you a number honestly. > Truth

JM What's been the most lucrative design?
YB The Aleph Jawbone headset. I'm a partner in that business. > Truth

JM Do you think London is the design capital of the world?
YB No. > Truth/Excitement

JM Where is?
YB If you speak about furniture design then Milan, if you speak of industrial design it's the Bay Area [in California]. > Truth
Portrait by Maja Flink

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