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Posts Tagged ‘Yves Béhar’

Seven Questions for SodaStream Design Honcho Yaron Kopel

A judge has nixed the NYC “soda ban”–due to take effect Tuesday, it would have banned 16-ounce containers of sugary drinks that have more than 25 calories per ounce–but an appeal is in the works, and Mayor Bloomberg isn’t the only one looking to change the way we look at fizzy beverages. SodaStream is shaking up the market with its DIY take (slogan: “If you love the bubbles, set them free”). Founded in 1903 with the introduction of “an apparatus for aerating liquids,” the Israel-based company recently teamed up with Yves Behar and his team at Fuseproject to design the Source, a sleek home soda maker. “The design of Source was a process of elimination,” says Behar, who also worked on the packaging, naming, and graphic design of the compostable soda pods. Yaron Kopel, SodaStream’s chief innovation and design officer, made time during his recent trip to NYC to answer our questions about soda, the Fuseproject collaboration, and what’s next for the company.

First things first, what is your favorite beverage?
SodaStream Ginger Ale.

How do you describe SodaStream to someone who is unfamiliar with it?
SodaStream allows you to make carbonated water–which can become cola, fizzy juice, you name it–from home, in an instant. We have become so accustomed to the everyday consumption of bottled soda that its impact has been rendered mostly invisible. From an environmental perspective, when we consume and toss out plastic soda bottles, we’re doing damage. That plastic ends up forgotten, in landfills, in oceans. With SodaStream, consumers can enjoy their bubbles without any environmental impact. In essence, SodaStream takes what was once a passive, environmentally damaging practice–purchasing and enjoying soda–and has made it simple, active and environmentally sound.

What led you to seek out Yves Behar/Fuseproject, and what did you ask them to do?
Yves is among the finest industrial designers in the world. He is an innovator in sustainable design. Yves was tasked with reducing complexity and waste and creating a simple and beautiful object for the kitchen that keeps with 21st Century values. The result is SodaStream Source. Realizing that world-class design is a prerequisite to securing space on the countertop, SodaStream Source combines outstanding design with best-in-class engineering to improve functionality and ease-of-use. Its refined mechanics make the entire top surface responsive to touch. A new Snap-Lock mechanism makes the process quick, easy and intuitive, while an LED display provides instant visual feedback on the level of carbonation.

How was the process of working with Yves?
Yves and I worked together 24/7 for nine months to bring Source to fruition. It was a collaborative process. We shared a similar vision and joint desire to reduce and refine the user experience. Nothing about Yves’ work is redundant–every design attribute has a purpose. The finished product is a beautifully pared back design delivering the luxury of sparkling water, sodas, and bubbly beverages in one iconic minimal piece for the modern kitchen.
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Yves Behar’s Latest Project Is Just What the Doctor Ordered

Sure to boost compliance in double-blinded clinical trials the world over are these streamlined pill keepers from Sabi, a new company that is looking “to transform life’s small tasks into moments of joy” through lifestyle and wellness products designed by Yves Behar and his Fuseproject team. “We designed the Sabi brand, products, and packaging to express smarter ergonomic functionality, and instill pride of use rather than the stigma of being singled out by daily physical challenges,” says Behar. “I believe Sabi will make sense to an older generation in need of solutions, but also to a younger set of users that simply expect good design everywhere.”

Named for the Japanese aesthetic construct (think “wabi-sabi”), the Palo Alto-based company was founded by Assaf Wand, who points to Method, Bang & Olufsen, OXO, and Dyson as brands that inspire him. His idea for Sabi came as he watched his then-pregnant wife struggle to find an easy-to-use and visually appealing prenatal vitamin case. Pill organizers and related accessories (vitamin pulverizers, sleek carafes) comprise the company’s first line of products, Vitality. In the works are Agility, products designed to alleviate the pain and inconvenience of lifting, reaching, and carrying everyday items around the house, as well as Mobility, a line of travel accessories and gadgets that assist in transporting health and wellness essentials. Grab a Sabi Holster ($8.99) and take a chill pill, as the second two lines—including, at long last, a shower caddy that you won’t be ashamed to show houseguests—will debut later this year.

Wallpaper* 2008 Design Awards Announced

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During the last ten days, the finalists for some of Wallpaper*’s Design Awards were posted so readers could muse over the potential decisions and lose sleep over the suspense (Would Kit Kemp‘s Haymarket trump Philippe Starck‘s Fasano Rio de Janeiro? Don’t make us even consider it!). As of January 12, the winners were announced with a party in London (soiree coverage here) and nice little video bumpers by Mainframe.

The list of judges is short but very sweet—André Balazs, Patricia Urquiola, Tadao Ando, Wong Kar-wai, Donatella Versace, Langlands & Bell—but the the list of winners is long—very, very long. So we culled the highlights for you:

· Straw-man Tokujin Yoshioka continues his winning streak as best furniture designer, after being named designer of the year for Design Miami.

· Los Angeles is the best design city, booya! (And using Thom Mayne‘s CalTrans building to represent LA in the voting didn’t even hurt us.)

· The New Museum by SANAA, which seems to be on the top of everyone’s list at the moment, is the best new public building.

· Yves Béhar‘s Little Green Computer That Could is named most life-enhancing device.

· A Richard Prince-Marc Jacobs collaboration for LV gets best bag.

· Sir Paul Smith earns his stripes for best collaborator.

· Arik Levy‘s Cubic Meter shelving system for Kenny Schachter bests what we can only imagine is a very competitive category: modular furniture; Twist by Carlo Colombo for Arflex takes shelving.

· Paper Alphabet by Sonya Dyakova is best typeface; best stationery is by Lucienne Roberts for none other than Tony Blair. We’ll leave it to the UK’s Creative Review for commentary on both of those.

High Monkeys, Low Expectations at Stefan Sagmeister’s Wolfsonian Installation

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“Everyone Always Thinks They Are Right” declared the giant inflatable monkeys on the roof of the Wolfsonian, seven stories above Miami Beach (and fresh from Scotland as part of a world tour). Inside, approximately 2250 martini glasses filled with a surprisingly good orange gin concoction were arranged into the words “Low Expectations,” with custom swizzle sticks printed with “Are a Good Strategy.” And a loop of film showed the rest of the illustrated maxims from Stefan Sagmeister‘s book Things I Have Learned In My Life So Far.

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The only question we had for Sags was this: After going through the process of bringing so many things he had learned in his life to life, had he learned anything new? “I’ve learned that I still learn things, but at a much slower rate,” he laughed. He also said he gave his students the choice to skip their last assignment and make their own list of things they had learned.

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Of course our darling Yves Behar was there, and chatting with Eames Demetrios to boot. Jeffrey Deitch breezed through briefly but with purpose–another exhibition of Sagmeister’s work will open at Deitch Projects in NY in March. New Yorkers represented: Steven Heller (he curated the installation, but assures us he was not the mixologist), Lita Talarico, Deborah Buck of NY gallery Buck House and Janet Froelich, creative director of the New York Times Mag. Design journos represented, too: We chatted up Fast Company’s Linda Tischler, Janet Eastman of the LA Times and AIGA Voice managing editor Sue Apfelbaum. And Debbie Millman and Marian Bantjes (that’s her with Sagmeister) jetted in early before appearing in a “Design Matters” about the 2008 Publikum calendar at the Wolfsonian on Saturday.

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By the time we left, the ‘e’ and ‘x’ of ‘expectations’ had been gulped, but refills were quickly secured by martini shaker-wielding assistants nearby, and the crowd continued to swell. As guests exited, they were confronted with a parting message: “Material Luxuries Are Best Enjoyed in Small Doses,” as printed on a custom-made Kate Spade tote bag, so they could take a few words of Sagmeister’s wisdom home with them.

“As Long as it Lasts…” Designer Tattoo Parlor Claims Its First Victim

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What can we say? We get excited about the fact that people will let someone dig a needle into their skin for an hour or two in the name of design. We stopped by “As Long as it Lasts…” booth last night where–before the exhibition officially opened to the public–someone was in the chair getting inked. Supercute Tobias Wong already had the KAWS one on his calf, too.

Like any tattoo parlor, this is a place where the cool kids hang out, and will definitely be the social center of the Design Miami hoopla. They’ve got a lounge perfect for relaxing while you watch others wince in pain. Bernadaud is serving Haagen-Dazs with Delphine Frey‘s porcelain cones next door. So the whole thing is kinda like a circus. With that pleasant buzzing sound in the air.

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Team Tattoo: Josee Lapage, Tobias Wong and Aric Chen.

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The first victim opted for Lawrence Weiner‘s Sink or Swim design. He didn’t cry or nothin’.

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Philip Wood of CITIZEN:Citizen, Google’s Jenn Shreve and Chronicle Books’ Alan Rapp abstained.

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Jill Singer models her 5.5 Designers ink–oh, just kidding, it’s only a temporary.

Some Enchanted Yves-ning

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Apparently we’re not the only ones enamored with one Yves Behar, judging by the crowds who thronged the Luminaire showroom for his Artists for One Laptop Per Child benefit opening last night. We couldn’t get close to the Golden Boy, who was constantly surrounded by groupies, well-wishers and hot women. As consolation we tried to talk to John Maeda, but he evaded us before we could approach him. He is a nimble one, that Maeda. (And so young-looking! Must be all that simplicity). Suddenly, just when we’d given up hope that we’d ever get our own Behar moment, the crowds parted and there he was, curls and all.

Someone must have tipped him about our extremely professional infatuation because when we first met him he greeted us with a kiss (right cheek, and no we haven’t washed it yet). When we told him we were with UnBeige he brightened even more. “Of course!” he said. “You have been very supportive of all this.” (If only he knew how much more supportive we could be…) We asked for a photo, then, just as quickly as he’d come into our life, he was swept back into the crowd, and we were left glowing in the light of Olafur Eliasson‘s mirrored OLPC piece. Sigh.

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The Man and his friend, whose name we’d remember if we hadn’t started swooning.

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Our lovely hostesses Monica Khemsurov and Jill Singer from I.D.

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Eames Demetrios, who’s showing his Kymaerica project at AQUA.

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Like these laptop icons? You can get one inked on your arm over at the “As long as it lasts…” tattoo parlor.

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The laptops are tiny-tiny, like typing on a Treo or something. And of course the default homepage is Google.

The $100 Laptop Becomes the $10,000 Laptop

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We know we keep touting this gift and that gift as the design gift of the season, but we’re totally serious this time when we say that a purchase from Artists for One Laptop Per Child will absolutely top anything you’ll find in the Sky Mall catalog. Unlike the Give One, Get One deal where you buy one and one goes to a child in need, this benefit and auction features unique works of art inspired by the OLPC laptop. Pieces by Olafur Eliasson, Jorge Pardo, Cindy Sherman, John Baldessari and more will be auctioned online until December 12. Ugo Rondinone‘s sand and mixed media piece (above) is a steal at only $12,000.

Tonight we’ll head over to the exhibition opening sponsored by Luminaire, our friends at I.D. and the Owner of the Best-Designed Abs in the World, Yves Behar. If we’re good, we might even be granted an audience with the Golden One. O great design gods, we don’t ask you for much, but please, please smile upon us tonight!

Make Mine a Monthly! Wallpaper Goes to 12 Issues

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All of you in publishing can stop whining about the end of the world. Magazines are doing well, and if yours isn’t, maybe you should consider changing yours to a pretty one about design.

You remember back when Dwell announced they were adding two more issues this year. Last year’s Fast Company Masters of Design issue drew a “great response” from advertisers (even without those luscious Yves Behar abs). And now, Wallpaper announces that it’s adding a 12th issue next year, just after adding an 11th this year:

“Wallpaper is truly going from strength to strength, both editorially and commercially,” the publishing director, Andrew Black, said.

“Subscription levels are at their highest level and our advertising is up 42% on 2006, which itself was a record year. The move to 12 issues makes perfect sense.

Does that mean we get two guest-edited issues a year?

BREAKING: Yves Behar’s Master-ful Abs

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Oh, we were just leisurely paging through Fast Company’s Masters of Design issue when we just so happened to come across this shot of Yves Behar, a six pack, and the luckiest photo assistant on Planet Earth. Does Fast Company always toss in little candid shots this hot? We’re so reading the Contributors page from now on!

Could He Be the Most Beautiful Design Master in the World?

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Would you take a look at what arrived in our mailbox today? Fast Company’s annual Masters of Design issue honors Clio-winning Bob Greenberg, photogenic Paola Antonelli and the beautiful and talented Master of our hearts, Yves Behar. We’ll get to reading the rest of it in a second, just had to spread the good news.

Fast Company even was kind enough to send us two copies; one to read, one to frame and place on our nightstand.

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