Yves Behar’s Strange Quote About European Designers

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Occassional model, underwear designer, and the first Brit Insurance Design Award winner, Yves Behar, has stirred things up by doing a quick bit of generalizing about the whole of Europe. In talking to Design Week before appearing with Alice Rawsthorn at an event in London, he said the following:

“I think designers in Europe too easily take the back seat,” says the Swiss-born industrial designer, based in San Francisco. He adds, “In Europe it is quite static, but it’s great [for a designer] to be creative with the parts you’re expected to be creative with and creative on the business side. People [on the West Coast of the US] believe we can change things.”

We have all sorts of weird feelings about this quote. Was it taken out of context? Does Behar really believe that most of Europe is segmented like that, designers and business people? That’s doesn’t seem to ring true at all. And what’s that bit about only designers on the west coast being business savvy? The whole thing just seems unusual. If it is true that Behar does believe this, we recommend that in the future, maybe he should follow the Jonathan Ive method by just keeping quiet about his European emotions.