David Trubridge, Closing Speaker


David will examine the idea of a sense of place from the perspective of an artist. He will base this on his personal experience gained from extensive travels, mostly in the more remote and empty parts of the world. Having shown how, in the past, different cultures have expressed this through their art and their craft, he will then go on to look at why this is even more important to us now in an increasingly homogeneous world, especially as regards to sustainability.

David Trubridge
Closing Speaker.

David Trubridge graduated as a Naval Architect from Newcastle University Britain, but since then he has worked as a furniture designer/maker. He settled in New Zealand after a five year yacht voyage with his family. His design process combines innate craft knowledge, sculptural abstraction and computer design technology, as it draws on his life's rich experiences. He is New Zealand's best known furniture/lighting designer and his work, which his own company in Hawkes Bay manufactures, is sold all around the world and exhibited at trade fairs in places such as Milan (every year since 2001), Paris, London, New York, Dubai.

Over recent years his designs have featured in countless international publications, including influential Italian magazines and even the Financial Times, as an instigator of the trend of 'raw sophistication' and as an exemplar of environmentally responsible design. In 2008 the French magazine Express listed him as one of the top 15 designers in the world. His Body Raft has been voted as iconic in New Zealand and in the best 50 designs of the twentieth century overseas, and his Coral light has been named as one of the top ten lights of the last 100 years by a Singapore magazine.

In 2007 he was given NZ’s highest design award, the John Britten Award, by the Designer’s Institute of NZ. In 2010 his Spiral Island set was included in the Design Triennale in New York and also won a Good Design Award. He is invited to speak regularly on sustainable design at conferences and symposia around the world. His 'Icarus' installation, which was first shown in Milan in 2010, has been purchased by the Pompidou Centre in Paris for their permanent collection.

  • What is a sense of place?
  • How it is made manifest through local materials and craftsmanship?
  • How it is expressed artistically?
  • Why is it important to humans?
  • Why is it important to sustainability?
  • Why are New York hotels trying to stop airbnb?
  • David speaks from personal experience as an artist/creator of travels in the more remote places.