It Takes a Village

There’s been so much written about the $100 laptop, for so long, that’d we kinda already thought it was approved, manufactured and shipped to the non-Brangelinated corners of Namibia. We also thought the hand-crank model above on the left was a go, especially because it’s the prototype still featured on the MIT website.

In this month’s Wired, however, “The Laptop Crusade” adds an interesting twist to the story–that the design project was yanked from Design Continuum and given to fuseproject‘s Yves Behar:

Behar got involved in the laptop project when a Media Lab alum invited him to present ideas on next-generation computer concepts. He focused on pragmatism over high art. “This is a product that has to go into the field,” he says. Meantime, the design firm Negroponte originally hired to create the prototype, Boston-based Design Continuum, had run into some trouble. “We got stuck and could not rethink the basics,” Negroponte says. So he turned to Behar: “Yves brought us a fresh look.”

Then there’s the breezy description of the two candidates facing off in the final pitch:

“In March, Behar’s team presented two models to the One Laptop per Child panel of researchers, engineers, and former Media Labbers. Members of the Design Continuum team also presented two versions. Only one design would survive to a final round of revisions. After Behar showed off his work, he wandered out to the hall for a glass of water. Fifteen minutes later, he walked back into the room and was greeted with a round of applause.”

Oh, Yves! You’re so good! And so pretty.

No mention at all of frog design’s prototype, which gained much media hype back in 2005, but apparently wasn’t as fresh as fuseproject, either.

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