Falling in love with a Danish au pair brought designer David Lewis from London to Denmark and began his journey into the heart of one of the most recognised design brands in the world.
August 5th, 2009
David Lewis has been designing for audiovisual design company, Bang & Olufsen since 1965, and is now their Chief Designer, while running his own design firm, David Lewis Designers.
“I was born in London, and came to Denmark after meeting Marianne, my Danish wife, who back then was working as a nanny in London. I came to Denmark in the 1960s, and never got round to moving back to England.”
The freelance designer is perhaps most recognised for his work on the BeoLab 5000 series with the ‘slide rule’ motion, developed while working with designer Jacob Jensen, then another B&O icon, the BeoVision 600 with Henning Moldenhawer.
“Strangely enough, Bang & Olufsen does not have what you normally understand as a design philosophy, as it is always works with external designers like me,” Lewis explains.
“However, Bang & Olufsen does have a product philosophy, which is used as a guiding star for our designs. We aim to make technology work in a way that adds value to our products in their everyday use.”
Unlike others in the industry, B&O has a reputation for releasing just a select handful of products each year; Lewis believes this reflects the company’s focus on producing high quality well-designed objects.
“I believe that a general problem with industrial design at the moment is that too many things are going on at the same time. It confuses people. Too few are concerned with good quality and things that make a difference. Too many jump the gadget wagon – you change mobile phones two or three times a year, just to have the latest gimmicks.”
This award-winning English designer has given a significant contribution to Danish design, recognised with the Insignia of a Knight of the Order of Dannebrog in 2003 for his valuable work for Danish industrial design. Responsible for the majority of B&O’s most successful products since the 1980s, Lewis has products in the permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Hero Image: Lewis with BeoSound 9000
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