This elastic, all-encompassing approach extends to Béhar’s design ethos, too. He doesn’t ascribe to a certain product type—instead, he dabbles, resulting in a body of work that spans domestic electronics and fashion accessories. “We get often called upon to work on game-changing projects that are hard and complex and often run counter to existing trends or ideas about what people think design can deliver,” he explains. “They bring together the notion of design excellence, quality, great function, and beauty, in addition to a surprisingly low price point or unexpected benefit.” His Ver Bien Aprender Mejor (“See Better to Learn Better”) initiative puts these principles into action. Created to improve Mexico’s national literacy rate, the nonprofit program distributes free customizable glasses to schoolchildren—and has now been adopted as a model for other countries.
In addition to his social efforts, Béhar takes pride in promoting sustainability through design and, in his own practice, looks for ways to decrease waste and optimize energy use. His streamlined redesign for SodaStream (an at-home sparkling water machine) implements these principles to maximize the benefits of green products. A more concrete example is perhaps the electric car charging station, GE WattStation, that he conceived. “As a designer, I am empowered to make choices about what materials and manufacturing processes I use,” Béhar says. “It becomes my duty to select choices that create the smallest carbon footprint, while still maximizing the impact of a certain design.”