Robert Dudley Best (1892-1984) was heir to the world's largest lighting factory, founded in Birmingham in 1840. Best felt that the lamp designs produced by the factory were outdated, he transformed their production through a visit to the International Exhibition of Modern Design in Paris, where many of the designs exhibited by Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe, influenced his work.
Inspired by what he had seen, Best began his studies of industrial design in Paris and Düsseldorf, where he became close friends with Walter Gropius, the founder of the Bauhaus movement. It was during this time that he made the first sketches of what would become the iconic Bestlite design.
Bestlite has been in continuous production since 1930. Winston Churchill is numbered amongst its many famous users. The Bestlite design was conceived by Robert Dudley Best who was highly influenced by the Bauhaus. Bauhaus was a school in Germany that merged practical crafts with the fine arts and became famous for the design concept that it publicized and taught. Bauhaus had a profound influence upon subsequent developments in art, architecture, graphic design, interior design and industrial design and Bauhaus style became one of the most influential forces behind Modernist architecture and modern design.
Eighty years on, the Bestlite design stays close to its industrial roots and true to its original design. Bestlite is held in permanent collections at both the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Design Museum in London. Loved by architects, designers and design aficionados throughout its 80-year history, today, Bestlite enjoys global iconic status.