Robert Dudley Best (1892-1984) was heir to the world's largest lighting factory, founded in Birmingham in 1840. Despite its proud history, Best felt that the lamp designs produced by the factory were outdated. In 1925, Best visited the International Exhibition of Modern Design in Paris, where many of the designs exhibited were influenced by the work of Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe.
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.