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For his magnificent feature light Navicula, designer and New Zealand-based outdoorsman David Trubridge went rolling in the deep, at least metaphorically. The layered shape was Inspired by microscopic diatoms, a strain of algae, that float around in the oceans. Thin pieces of bamboo plywood curve and flow, a marvel of computer-assisted woodcutting. Lit from within by a row of LED pinpoint lights, Navicula casts magical patterns in its wake. Flat-packed for eco-friendly shipping and a snap to assemble with furnished nylon clips.
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“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."