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David Trubridge

Behind the Design
with David Trubridge

Airy, luminous sustainability inspired by the nature of New Zealand and beyond



A Q&A with David Trubridge, Designer

Interview by Sarah Schaale

What’s your favorite David Trubridge design?
The Coral Light by David Trubridge is still a favorite because it was the first
and it was so satisfying to see it come together, even
now. And still the Body Raft—getting picked up by
Cappellini, that was sort of my big break. I think
it is the most resolved piece of furniture design
that I’ve done.

Where do you find inspiration?
The obvious quick answer is nature,
but it's not that I can go out in the
forest or mountains and see a light in
a tree. It’s not as simple as that. The
trips for me into the mountains are
more for the spirit, the energy, the state
of mind in which things start to form. It’s
more indirect. All of that
stuff is coming through
my vision, my way
of seeing. If you
don’t do that initial
part as an artist, you
don’t have anything
to design with.

My ideal is for design to be like music. There is no physical object.

  • Coral Pendant by David Trubridge Design

    The original--and still the best--way to incorporate an organic, airy element into modern interiors. The David Trubridge Design Coral Pendant features numerous Natural Bamboo components, shipped flat (to minimize packaging and save on shipping costs) and ready to assemble into a sphere with plastic clips. Available in three sizes.

  • Swish Pendant by David Trubridge Design

    In modern interiors, the David Trubridge Design Swish Pendant has sweet, swirling swagger. In a fantastic melding of rustic and modern materials, the bulbous spiraling form is made out of curving bands of Natural Bamboo over polycarbonate, held together with petite aluminum rivets. Available in two sizes.

  • Snowflake 1000 Pendant by David Trubridge Design

    Who says a snowflake has to be cold? The David Trubridge Design Snowflake 1000 Pendant displays all the unique crystalline detail of a snowflake, but is made out of components of warm Natural Bamboo. Due to the intricacy of the design, the Snowflake 1000 Pendant is shipped pre-assembled.

My ideal is for design to be like music. There is no physical object. With music, you buy it once, the experience of it doesn’t require any material whatsoever, but it enriches us and makes us feel good. In a sense I would like for our products to do that. Maybe there’s something, like it conjures up some archetype of afternoon sunlight through the leaves—those kind of experiences as well. We have enough stuff and enough around us to last forever, but we constantly need that enriching experience that makes us human in a sense.

What do you value in design?
Physically, things need to be as enduring as possible so they don’t need replacing in a year or two. Aesthetically they need to be timeless, so something designed in the 50s will be equally beautiful now. I personally can’t say whether my work is timeless or not. That’s for someone else to judge. I’d like to think it is, but only time will tell.

What is your own home like?
Colorful. We built it nearly 20 years ago. There’s about 5 different colored windows, so one room will have the same color windows and the next will have a different one. I just love color. It’s joyful. It’s exuberant. Most of the effect of color is the in between-ness. Juxtaposing different colors against each other. We’ve got a lot of art in there and art that our boys have made. A lot of natural textures, light, openness to the outside. There are quite a few things that I’ve made as well.