When Nicholas Negroponte, founder of MIT Media Lab, first dreamed up the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project in 2006, he wanted to provide the developing world with the same technology accessible to so many of us.
He enlisted Swiss-born San Franciscan Yves Behar of Fuseproject
to help bring his vision to life: a durable, low-power, Internet-connected laptop that would give children everywhere access to information that would help empower them and their communities.
Six years later, the OLPC unit -- called the XO Laptop -- is used by more than 2.4 million children around the world.
As part of an exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art featuring works influenced by design innovator Buckminster Fuller
, pre-production sketches of the OLPC project from the workbook of Behar are on display. The exhibit runs through July 29.
CNET spoke with Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher, the exhibition curator (and SFMOMA acting department head/assistant curator of architecture and design) about the inception of the exhibit and the parallels between Behar's design and Fuller's philosophies.
“I included the One Laptop Per Child project in the exhibition because I felt that Nicholas Negroponte, who founded the program, might have been responding to Fuller’s comment that if only everyone had the same access to information, all of the world’s critical social issues could be resolved," she said. "Now that there is more access to real-time information, there isn’t a noticeable change working collectively for humanity’s betterment."