Yves Behar’s Creative Optimism

“Burst of creativity, of self-expression and ideas is what drives us as creatives, so, how does this idea get expressed in a simple visual?” This is the question designer Yves Behar asked himself in conceptualizing the line Pixel Burst, designed for Orange22 Design Lab and the Botanist Series. “We took a literal pattern of an explosion, and reduced it to square pixels…the offsets and size variations creating an abstract, yet recognizable shape of a burst.

Pixel Burst. Designed by Yves Behar for Orange22 Design Lab’s Botanist Series.

The resulting drawing is reminiscent of a bright light-spot, a sun…squint your eyes, and the abstract shapes become something bright and optimistic.” The optimism of this project extends beyond the forms that emerge from the tessellated effect on the aluminum surface. The Botanist Series “strives to tackle issues that are far beyond the challenges of traditional design dilemmas”: environmental sustainability and social awareness. Yves Behar is one of ten high-profile designers taking part in this project. Each was confronted with a “blank canvas,” a simple aluminum form which he or she personalized through jet-cutting technology and color powder coating. Two percent of the product sales will be donated to a foundation or charity of the designer’s choice, supporting causes ranging from AIDS research to The Special Olympics. To reduce costly storage and transportation costs as well as carbon emissions, manufacturing occurs in the US and products are made to order, shipping directly from the factory.



The concept of pixelation in Yves Behar’s design inevitably brings us back to Patricia Urquiola’s Digitable, designed for B&B Italia. Both products are produced similarly, through water-jet cutting technology. The Botanist Series is formed from a quarter-inch aluminum alloy sheet, durable and surprisingly light. The economic and ecological powder coating, applied to its surface, is UV and weather resistant. Unlike Digitable, the Pixel Burst series is intended to be used outdoors. Yves’ series includes a low table in bright white, a side table in earth brown and a bench in mega beige. In your lawn or garden, or beside your pool, the natural sunlight will accentuate the abstracted burst shapes, or “bright-light spots,” resulting in a play of light and dark. Although you may be familiar with pixelation in its very literal and colorful form, as in Cristian Zuzunaga’s Pixel Couch, this subtle interpretation will add modern sophistication to any outdoor setting.

In purchasing Yves Behar’s Pixel Burst line, you provide a donation to the Surfrider Foundation, thereby aiding the protection our oceans, waves and beaches. There can be no better way to ring in the new spring season than with this optimistic design which gives back to society.

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