SBS tele­vi­sion recently screened a doc­u­ment­ary about Yves Behar, the per­son behind the dis­tinct­ive indus­tri­al design of the OLPC XO laptop. It’s a fas­cin­at­ing insight into the mind and influ­ences behind one of the most influ­en­tial design­ers around. The doc­u­ment­ary was ori­gin­ally aired in Novem­ber 2008, so it is a little dated. For example, Yves talks about the “XOXO” XO‑2, which has since been replaced with the XO‑3. Nev­er­the­less, it is well worth watching.

You can view the full ver­sion at the SBS Web site. The sec­tion on OLPC starts at 14:48.

UPDATE: if you are hav­ing trouble view­ing the video, try this one instead. The atten­tion to detail and qual­ity is astound­ing. Yves rightly points out that products seen in less­er eco­nom­ic­ally developed coun­tries are nor­mally second hand or second rate. The design is rugged and func­tion­al. It provides scope for per­son­al­isa­tion. What was most inter­est­ing to me is Yves’ com­ment­ary on the key­board. Its one-piece design means that the let­ters can be prin­ted in one silk­screen­ing pro­cess. This makes it feas­ible to trans­late into lan­guages that would be uneco­nom­ic­al with a stand­ard key­board design.

Documentary about OLPC Designer Yves Behar / Sridhar Dhanapalan by Sridhar Dhanapalan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike CC BY-SA 4.0 licence.
%d bloggers like this: