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David Trubridge relates his life-changing progress from early training as a naval architect in his native England to international prominence as a New Zealand-based naturalist and designer of an iconic range of furniture and lighting. In the early 1980s, Trubridge set sail on a nomadic 5-year voyage with his family, spending time in the Caribbean and Polynesia and refining his design craft. Eventually he settled in New Zealand, where he established his studio and manufacturing facility in Hawkes Bay. Exhibiting at the Milan Furniture Fair in 2001 would bring him international recognition and set him on his path as a highly individualistic and award-winning designer.
David has organized the volume in sections that each correspond with a natural element (earth, air, water, fire, ether) to symbolize a successive portion of the narrative. Filled with striking photographs, So Far includes his thoughts on the creative process, living in harmony with nature and making his work practice as environmentally sustainable as possible. Inspired reading for anyone interested in art, design, architecture or creativity.
“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."