International eco-artist David Trubridge believes that we are at a critical turning point in our planet’s history. The New Zealand-based artist designs furniture, lighting and home accessories that are not only aesthetically beautiful, but also environmentally mindful. Although Trubridge minimizes his designs by using less material, the overall appearance is greater and his commitment to the environment is evident.
For about 35 years, Trubridge has lived on three continents and seen the impact of human waste on the environment. Trubridge’s artistic and personal philosophy is “step lightly with a delicate footprint.” He sticks to classic and organic shapes that have a long design life rather than trendy objects that will ultimately end up in landfills. Trubridge works primarily with wood, which originates from sustainable plantations in New Zealand and Australia.
I am drawn to Trubridge’s lighting sculptures as they redefine the surrounding space, the function and the purpose of indoor lighting. The green features of the lamps range from the nontoxic organic oil finishes to the flat packing design that reduces excess space and packing materials.
A few of my favorite lamps are Kina and Koura. The hanging Kina lamp is a round wooden structure composed of many “x” shapes that range in sizes. Trubridge uses pine plywood and aluminum rivets. The curved lamp feels natural and earthy while still emitting lots of light.
The Koura hanging lamp evokes a feeling of water and movement through the use of strong curved vertical lines. The same materials are used in the Koura lamp as in the Kina lamp, and both include electrical fittings. In addition, the wood pieces can be stained to match the surrounding furniture.
Trubridge’s passion for sustainability and environmentalism grew in 2004 when he traveled to Antarctica with the Antarctica New Zealand Arts Fellows. Today, Trubridge exhibits around the world, specifically Milan, Australia and New York.