Before furniture designer David Trubridge reached international acclaim, he sold everything he had and took off on a five-year voyage sailing the world with his wife Linda and their two sons. During this time they sailed through the Caribbean and Pacific, and stopped in the Virgin Islands and Tahiti for a while to work, which saw David make furniture for expats. Prior to this adventure David had studied boat design in the UK and worked as a forester on a private estate in Northumberland.
It was only when the family settled in New Zealand that he made a bench based on his beloved boat, Hornpipe. It went on to win a swag of awards, including a residency in Japan. Since then his furniture and lighting designs have become instantly recognisable. He's been feted in magazines, exhibited multiple times at the Milan Furniture Fair as well as ICFF in New York and 100% Design in London, and regularly talks on design around the world. He continues to live in a small village in New Zealand.
Make your choice!:
1 artist, designer, maker, navigator, hiker.
2 irreverent, passionate, philosophical, creative, caring.
3 tree, whale, butterfly, mountain, ocean.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I got my career start by first creating my own free, independent lifestyle in my own house out in the country. There I taught myself to make and later design furniture. I have continued to go my own way, always consciously needing to feel that I am moving forward.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Integrity: be true to yourself and don't try to follow trends. To find your own 'turangawaewae', your own 'place to stand', your spiritual heart, and to speak from it.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Proving that a designer from a provincial village in remote New Zealand can make it on the world stage, and still be able to remain living there.
What’s been your best decision? To marry Linda.
Who inspires you? Contemporary artists like Olafur Eliasson, Richard Serra, Anselm Kiefer, Anish Kapoor; film-makers like Krzysztof Kieslowski or Angelopoulos; writers like Naomi Klein or Pat Barker; musicians like Arvo Pärt or Bob Dylan; these are only examples and I could have chosen many more similar people.
What are you passionate about? Nature, or the environment; art or maybe just creativity in general.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? My father, because he died before I ever knew him.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? To be able to enrich our culture without producing unnecessary 'stuff', or using unnecessary energy.
What are you reading? The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
images courtesy of david trubridge