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Recalling the form of a flower bud, the Belle is a lantern-like pendant fixture that creates mood-setting atmosphere in a room. New Zealand-based lighting wiz David Trubridge overlaps ultra-thin segments of bamboo plywood to mask the inner light source. As Belle tapers down to its smaller opening at the bottom, the wavy bamboo panels open up and allow shards of illumination to peek through. A choice of finishes determines the final dramatic effect—the natural option emits a more even glow while the darker caramel produces an effect of mysterious chiaroscuro.
“I design to communicate, to tell a story,” says the designer David Trubridge, “to relate what I find in the mountains and wilderness and what it is to be human.” Originally trained in boat design, David taught himself how to make furniture and his early work was widely heralded in his native UK. Turning a page in the early 1980s, he and his young family sold everything they had and set sail on their yacht “Hornpipe” around the Caribbean and the Pacific, while he built houses for clients living on nearby islands.
Arriving in New Zealand a few years later, David began to create furnishings inspired by his time at sea and eventually expanded to include his distinctive lighting, becoming an influential presence in the design world. An environmental sensibility governs his operation there, including recycling factory and studio waste, exclusive use of hydro electricity and eco-supportive shipping and freighting. As David puts it, “If design is not actively trying to preserve our future it is, by default, destroying it."