FREE SHIPPING On Most Orders*
Trade Advantage Program
Behind the Design: David Trubridge

Exclusively at Lumens: Ebb Swell Pendant by David Trubridge.

Behind the Design:
David Trubridge

Designer David Trubridge draws inspiration from our natural surroundings, traditional cultures and even environmental happenings. His luminaires reflect his love of the earth and the need to protect it, with a true passion for environmentally friendly design.

For New Zealand designer David Trubridge, inspiration is in great abundance. His muse is nature—a source that is known for constantly delivering something fresh and new. But Trubridge's designs are careful and intentional, curated into a collection that is organic and ethereal in its aesthetic, and thoughtful and sustainable in its craft. We caught up with David to explore his inspirations.

Your catalog has grown over the years but not as rapidly as most lighting manufacturers—how do you decide to bring new designs to the market?

I believe in quality not quantity. I can’t bring myself to create a whole lot of new lights for the sake of it. In fact, I have a real problem with this obsession with the new. It degrades what we already have. It is a deliberate consumer construct to get people to buy, where the need to sell is greater than the need to buy. I think we should start savoring and appreciating what we have, rather than expecting designers and producers to constantly titillate us with something new. So much newness can only be inferior, often resorting to gimmickry for the sake of it.

Not all of your lighting designs seem to fit together from an “aesthetic” comparison—is there a common theme in your work?

As a designer, I would be silly to restrict myself to one common aesthetic, as that would only appeal to a limited clientele. We have tried to address our creativity to a variety of aesthetics so that a wider range of people can fit them into different looking spaces. For example, the Ebb lights were designed for spaces that feature limited color palettes, and where the natural color of wood is out of place.

Many fixtures in your catalog will cast brilliant shadows with the correct space positioning and lamping. Is this effect accounted for in your design process or just a great side effect?

Absolutely! Who needs wallpaper?! You can hang a bare light bulb from the ceiling to create functional light at night, but it is a cold, depressing form of light, which is why you see it in prison cells. Shadow patterns generate a warmth and visual texture that makes the space a pleasant and even enriching one to be in.

The material used in the David Trubridge lighting range is predominantly bamboo plywood. Is this an effort to be eco-friendly or a necessity to achieve the desired aesthetic?

I have always worked with wood and remain loyal to it, though of course bamboo is not strictly wood; it is a type of grass. It is the perfect fit for both our environmental concerns and for my natural aesthetic.

New Designs


David Trubridge with one of his designs at the 2017 World Wood Day.

You recently participated in World Wood Day. Can you tell us about what you created there and your experience?

I built a very lightweight plywood SUP board. I am a keen surfer/paddler/windsurfer, so it was inevitable that I would apply my design experience of lightweight plywood structures to these boards. The event was an amazing experience with masses of woodworkers of all types assembled from all over the world. We were all put up in the old Queen Mary at Long Beach and worked in the Convention Center, while an equally global mix of musicians played to us.

Who is your favorite designer?

Nature, because we will never ever get close to being so good.

What do you enjoy most about the lighting and furniture industry?

When someone says to me, “I love living with one of your lights. It makes me happy.”

What’s next for David Trubridge?

We need to do a lot more work on the new outdoor range, assimilating feedback from the Milan show and doing testing in the weather. I am really enjoying the paddle boards and would like to take this further. Other plans are secret so you will have to watch this space!