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TED2009

Yves Behar: A supercharged motorcycle design

February 6, 2009

Yves Behar and Forrest North unveil Mission One, a sleek, powerful electric motorcycle. They share slides from distant (yet similar) childhoods that show how collaboration kick-started their friendship -- and shared dreams.

Yves Behar - Designer
Yves Behar has produced some of the new millennium's most coveted objects, like the Leaf lamp, the Jawbone headset, and the XO laptop for One Laptop per Child. Full bio

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Double-click the English subtitles below to play the video.
Forrest North: The beginning of any collaboration
00:20
starts with a conversation.
00:22
And I would like to share with you
00:24
some of the bits of the conversation that we started with.
00:26
I grew up in a log cabin in Washington state
00:30
with too much time on my hands.
00:32
Yves Behar: And in scenic Switzerland for me.
00:34
FN: I always had a passion for alternative vehicles.
00:37
This is a land yacht racing across the desert in Nevada.
00:40
YB: Combination of windsurfing and skiing into this invention there.
00:44
FN: And I also had an interest in dangerous inventions.
00:48
This is a 100,000-volt Tesla coil
00:51
that I built in my bedroom,
00:53
much to the dismay of my mother.
00:56
YB: To the dismay of my mother,
00:59
this is dangerous teenage fashion right there.
01:01
(Laughter)
01:04
FN: And I brought this all together,
01:07
this passion with alternative energy and raced a solar car across Australia --
01:09
also the U.S. and Japan.
01:13
YB: So, wind power, solar power -- we had a lot to talk about.
01:15
We had a lot that got us excited.
01:19
So we decided to do a special project together.
01:22
To combine engineering and design and ...
01:25
FN: Really make a fully integrated product, something beautiful.
01:29
YB: And we made a baby.
01:32
(Laughter)
01:34
FN: Can you bring out our baby?
01:35
(Applause)
01:43
This baby is fully electric.
01:45
It goes 150 miles an hour.
01:48
It's twice the range of any electric motorcycle.
01:50
Really the exciting thing about a motorcycle
01:53
is just the beautiful integration of engineering and design.
01:55
It's got an amazing user experience.
02:00
It was wonderful working with Yves Behar.
02:02
He came up with our name and logo. We're Mission Motors.
02:04
And we've only got three minutes,
02:07
but we could talk about it for hours.
02:09
YB: Thank you.
02:11
FN: Thank you TED. And thank you Chris, for having us.
02:13
(Applause)
02:15

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Yves Behar - Designer
Yves Behar has produced some of the new millennium's most coveted objects, like the Leaf lamp, the Jawbone headset, and the XO laptop for One Laptop per Child.

Why you should listen

Over the past decade, Yves Behar and his firm fuseproject have become the design group that companies turn to for a game-changing idea. Take the re-invention of the Bluetooth headset, for one; or the re-envigoration of the venerable but dowdy Birkenstock line; or Behar's LED-chic Leaf lamp for Herman Miller.

And yes, Behar and fuseproject are the people who put the green bunny ears on the XO laptop -- and are redesigning the next-gen XOXO laptop due in 2010. This quirky but deeply felt project encapsulates much of his recent work, fusing gotta-have-it design with a mission of social responsibility.

The original video is available on TED.com
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