Interview with David Trubridge Ltd | In our interview serie we ask designer and manufacturer to answer the same 6 questions about their company, their idea about design and sustainability and what is important for them.

Following the answers from Ben Pearce, Head of Marketing.

About David Trubridge Ltd

David Trubridge is a design company manufacturing its collection in New Zealand. The motivations are to provide cultural nourishment, to tell stories, to reach people emotionally and spiritually; the objects are a vehicle for the nourishment we so badly lack in all the pragmatic and consumer stuff we are surrounded with. We aim to recreate that vital connection to nature that we have lost so much, living in insulated cities.

What is sustainable about your products?

Our primary material is bamboo plywood which is harvested as a secondary product from forests grown for edible bamboo shoots; so it’s extremely sustainable. We create our core range as kitsets which we call our Seed System. Many of our lights are available in large sizes and our designs are very light and voluminous so it’s critical to reduce the size in transit, especially being based in New Zealand.

Which are the 3 most suitable adjectives to describe this and why?

Raw-sophistication, connection, nourishment.

Our designs seem complex and magical in how they transform from day to night, shedding shadows like leaves through trees. But in fact, the material is very natural and the complexity is actually very simple. Our customers say that, after installing their light, it gives them satisfaction beyond other interior items: it inspires them, makes them wonder, and they say their life is better because of it. That makes us extremely proud!

What is the secret to your success?

Being first and retaining honest integrity. David has been a designer for over 50 years. He never set out to design a light; his inquisitiveness and constant developing of his mind and style led him to it. Thus he designed something that was never there before. He was first on the scene in this regard and many wooden kitset lighting companies have followed.

What is it you like about InteriorPark?

It is so hard these days to see past the marketing spin and find a true product made with love. InteriorPark. does this and in doing so unites makers worldwide who believe what they are doing matters and will make the world better.

What is good design?

There is a spectrum every maker falls within between Art, Design and Craft. We see ourselves closer to the Art end. While good design must fulfil a practical need at minimum cost to the environment, just being recyclable or biodegradable is not enough. There must be an extra element that adds richness to our lives so that we value the product and want to keep it for a lifetime.

A throw-away coffee cup being biodegradable is not good design, but a beautiful ceramic cup made with care is, because, when you use it, it makes you feel good and you would be sad to lose it. At best, good design will question the system: great products often re-define how we do things, rather than just being something new to replace what we had before.

What are the greatest challenges for design in future?

The greatest challenge for humanity is to ensure that we have a future, and design must do its part to work towards that. Currently, design is more often working against it by churning out ever-more stuff, just for the sake of it. The reason why big corporations are such avid climate change deniers is that their existence depends on the continuation of the status quo of growth-driven consumerism. Design must find a new way of fulfilling our needs, both practical and spiritual, without compromising our future. Some of that has to do with the product itself but it also depends on replacing rampant consumerism with a more sustainable way of living in more localised communities — of designing a better way of living.

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