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Yves Behar Shows Off Hackable Car, New XO Laptop at Greener Gadgets Keynote

Nonpareil designer Yves Behar kicked off the Greener Gadgets conference in New York on Thursday with a keynote in which he complained that green design is frequently "unsexy." In an appeal to designers to think about both the form and the end-result of their creations, Behar spouted a personal credo that "it's not beautiful if it's not ethical; and if it's not beautiful, it probably shouldn't exist."

Behar illustrated this belief with a few examples, including his work with eco-friendly PACT underwear and his delectable, 150-MPH electric motorcycle for Mission Motors. The bike in particular has become "an object of desire," he claimed, which is something that designers must look toward if they want consumers to buy into sustainable, green technology.

Finishing off his talk by discussing the One Laptop Per Child project -- which his company Fuseproject helped to design -- Behar brought up the idea of making low-end products desirable to high-end consumers, instead of the other way around. The desirability of the OLPC XO laptop by consumers outside of developing nations got him thinking about an inexpensive, hackable electronic vehicle -- a car with a basic chassis with an electronic motor that could be converted into a van, a pickup truck, a taxi, or an ambulance. Such a vehicle would, theoretically, meet the needs of impoverished nations and still be desirable to Western consumers. "I mean, I want that car," Behar said, gesturing to his mockup. (So do we.)

Check out the gallery below for images from Behar's keynote, including concept designs for his hackable car and possible new iterations of the XO laptop. (Spoiler: it's a tablet.)

Yves Behar at Greener Gadgets

Tags: design, features, fuseproject, greener gadgets, GreenerGadgets, mission motors, MissionMotors, olpc, top, xo laptop, XoLaptop, yves behar, YvesBehar