April 18, 2018

Creator with a Conscience:
New Zealand’s David Trubridge

Calculated risk taker. Explorer of uncharted territory. Breaker of convention. There’s nothing ordinary about the life and philosophy of New Zealand designer, David Trubridge. With a deep seeded desire to be a sculptor at a young age and a “go with the flow” mentality, Trubridge is one of the rare individuals that has turned his passion for nature into a reality that can be seen through his distinctive designs.

When we have beautiful things, we care for them, we look after them, they're not disposable to us. Beauty makes us better as people. Beauty nourishes us.

With a variety of other titles including, builder, businessman, public speaker, environmentalist and sailor, to name a few, Trubridge’s ecological approach to design as well as life can be attributed to his incredibly adventurous history. His first passion was boats. Graduating with a degree in Naval Architecture, he soon developed an urge to pursue the craft of carving wood and stone. It was this desire that led him and his wife Linda to purchase a cottage in a remote areas of Northumberland where he set up shop cultivating his woodworking skills and realizing the vast possibilities his design talents held. To further familiarize himself with the art of building, Trubridge had a part-time job as a forester where he learned about trees and the craft of forestry.

Before long, Trubridge felt a new and powerful draw towards the sea. Selling all their belongings and investing in a yacht named ‘HornPipe,” he and his family set sail through the Caribbean, the Pacific, stopping in the Virgin Islands and Tahiti. Throughout this journey and with limited resources, often using generators, David began constructing furniture for locals on the islands out of their garages. With nature being the driver of Trubridge’s inspiration, each piece was naturally colorful and wonderfully organic.

In 1990, after their beloved ‘Hornpipe’ boat was sold, David and his family settled down in Havelock North, Hawkes Bay where he began constructing their home, which was made using a highly innovative plaster and block system. It wasn’t long before people began visiting the home and ultimately became clients. It was during these years that David, while struggling to be back in society, began experimenting with table top construction, using split-timbers and woodblock prints with patterns carved using woodworking tools. His masterfully crafted Hornpipe Bench for example was featured in the United Kingdom at the Hannover Ligna and was featured in the 1996 International Design Yearbook.

The landscape never fails to open David’s heart to new, extraordinary ideas. Often walking through the mountains or the bush to think and refresh his mind, David got the idea to go exploring around different boatyards in Auckland and through these nautical structure, David created his iconic, bentwood ‘Body Raft.’ He took this ‘Body Raft’ to the 2001 Milan Furniture Fair. It was at this event that he solidified his place as an internationally known designer and manufacturer.

One man band turned international icon, David attributes much of his success to varying things like gaining an understanding of 3D design computers, communication via the web, slow, steady growth and environmental friendly practices.

From artwork to furniture and lighting, it is undeniable that David’s use of natural materials gives his work a raw, distinctive sophistication. Winning countless awards, David and his continuously blossoming company as well as his teammates continue to broaden our world with sustainable, eco-friendly designs that speak to our emotions. Some of David’s most iconic fixtures, including the Coral Pendant, inspired by his time at sea or the Navicula Pendant which was derived by the microscopic diatoms that float in the ocean are available in deconstructed forms. It not only arrives in minimal packaging but it allows the individual to piece together the fixture on their own, creating a type of unity between you and your space. “When we have beautiful things, we care for them, we look after them, they're not disposable to us. Beauty makes us better as people.” A prolific speaker at sustainability conferences, Trubirdge has without a doubt made a name for himself in sustainable living and equally has brightened both our interiors as well as encouraged our adventurous side.

Shop David Trubridge

Coral Pendant
by David Trubridge
$465 - $10,795
Floral Pendant
by David Trubridge
$455 - $10,795
Koura Pendant
by David Trubridge
$655 - $16,175
Pola Pendant
by David Trubridge
$3,140 - $5,850
Nikau Pendant
by David Trubridge
$1,095 - $1,885
Sola Pendant
by David Trubridge
$2,930 - $11,320
Belle Pendant
by David Trubridge
$525 - $620
Flax Pendant
by David Trubridge
$1,180 - $7,335
Hinaki Pendant
by David Trubridge
$505 - $4,865