David Whitfield Lewis (19 February 1939 - 9 November 2011) was born in London and attended the capital’s Central School of Art from 1957 - 60. He was subsequently awarded a Royal Society of Arts Bursary in 1960. Since that date David Lewis designed products in a wide field from professional marine and dental items to domestic household products although his main fields of activity were those of industrial design and product development.
In 1965 he joined Bang & Olufsen as a freelance designer and although he has worked for several clients, his name was primarily connected with Bang & Olufsen with whom he has left his mark for more than a third of a century.
Between 1965 and 1968 he worked under and together with Jacob Jensen. Their first collaboration was the Beolab 5000 System memorable for its ’slide rule’ motif.
From 1968 - 1980 he worked for and with Henning Moldenhawer, where his first design project was the Beovision 600, which, like the ’slide rule’ motif, became an icon for the company.
Since the beginning of the 1980s David Lewis designed most of Bang & Olufsen’s video systems: the LX and MX families, Beosystem AV 9000 and BeoVision Avant. Among Bang & Olufsen’s audio range, Lewis designed the Beosystem 2500, BeoSound Century, the remote controls Beolink 1000 and 5000, the Red Line speakers, and the active loudspeakers BeoLab 8000 and BeoLab 6000.
Besides Bang & Olufsen products David Lewis produced designs for a sofa with Erik Jørgensen and created kitchen equipment for Voss and Vestfront, dental equipment for L. Goof (award-winning) and a coin counter - just to mention a few of the wide variety of products with which he was involved over the years. Lewis received innumerable Danish and international prizes and marks of honour - and had a great deal of the credit for the design trend which has made Bang & Olufsen internationally known.
In New York’s Museum of Modern Art David Lewis is represented - in the Museum’s permanent collection - with three Bang & Olufsen products carrying his name: the video recorder Beocord VX5000, the Beovox Cona sub-woofer and the BeoLab 6000 active loudspeakers. More products still carry the mark of his design company.
David Lewis was presented with the title of Royal Designer for Industry in London in November 1995 by The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers & Commerce. The distinction is conferred upon citizens of the United Kingdom who have attained eminence in creative design for industry. The number of people who may hold this distinction at any one time is limited to one hundred. In 2002 he was further honored with the title of Knight of Dannebrog.
David Lewis’ last job was within his own design studio in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Shown below is David Lewis with computer company ASUS presenting the Asus NX90 laptop - fitted with Bang & Olufsen ICEpower technology - at Hanover’s CeBIT Expo 2-6 March 2010.
The Danish ID prize: 1976, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994.
The Japanese G-mark Good Design Award: 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998
The Japanese G-mark Grand Prix 1992
Sadly, David Lewis passed away 9 November 2011.