The Originals: David Trubridge


What does “original” mean to you?
That I am speaking with my own unique voice, not trying to fit in with everyone else or jump on a bandwagon. It is not so hard to do if you believe in yourself because every one of us is unique.

Why do you feel it’s important to design to be long-lasting, non-trend following pieces?
Because we can’t go on squandering precious dwindling resources on the fabricated need to buy something new far too soon. The creative agencies and advertising campaigns are very good at making us feel inadequate if we don’t have the latest look or the latest gadget, but that is just market spin getting us to buy something they need to sell far more than we need to buy.

What role does beauty play in creating original design?
It doesn’t really. Original design can be beautiful or ugly. But beauty does matter because we love it more, look after it for longer and in addition are nourished by it. A beautiful cup will be loved and cared for, whereas no-one thinks twice about throwing a plastic coffee cup onto land fill, to the detriment of us all. Too much design today is clever rather than beautiful, relying on wit, irony or gadgetry to gain attention. But clever design is like a one-line joke, laughed at once then soon left behind.


David Trubridge the company was formed in 1995 when David started to expand his operation from his small designer/maker business. The company is driven by a strong environmentally conscious philosophy which informs all aspects of design and production. The company holds numerous international awards and is held in many of the top museums. David’s work came to prominence in 2001 when the Italian design house Cappellini bought the rights for Body Raft. The Coral light followed in 2004, establishing a blueprint for kitset products that minimize their environmental footprint. His designs have featured in countless influential international publications as an instigator of the trend of ‘raw sophistication’ and as an exemplar of environmentally responsible design.

During an interview with the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Trubridge answered the fundamental question of why he designs: “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. And the other reason I design is to recreate that vital connection to nature that we have lost so much, living in insulated cities.”


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