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David Trubridge & His Remarkable Tipu


If you don’t know who David Trubridge is, I am quietly confident you will be familiar with some of his work.  His designs, particularly in lighting, are now globally recognised and he has exhibited in Paris, New York, Milan and Australia. Perhaps his most recognised piece, now referred to as a ‘future design classic’ is his Coral pendant lamp.

David Trubridge – Coral Bamboo Pendant Natural
Available in an extensive range of colours and sizes. Also available in aluminium.
(Image sourced from Essenze)

David Trubridge had said that he would like to find a way to bring cultural nourishment into people’s lives without using up precious resources and energy. He reckons’ we all have far too much ‘stuff’ in our homes, which is little more than junk food designed to leave us only craving more. He may have a point. He also questions how can we create real and lasting nourishment without the clutter of useless objects that waste precious resources and damage the environment?

When I was in New Zealand last week, I visited Essenze, a wonderful showroom of New Zealand art, craft and design (located in Parnell, Auckland). Displayed in the window was the most incredible piece of wall art. Really. It was magnificent. I should not have been surprised to learn it was one of David Trubridge’s latest creations. It is called ‘Tipu’.

This is definitely not ‘junk-food stuff’ to me. See what you think:

David Trubridge – Tipu (Front View)
(Image sourced from Essenze)
David Trubridge – Tipu (Detail)
(Image sourced from Essenze)
David Trubridge – Tipu (Side View)
(Image sourced from Essenze)

Tipu is the Māori word for sprout or grow, and the design by David Trubridge is inspired  by the organic and irregular patterns that reflect natures growth.

This 2 metre convex light is built with an organic, irregular pattern and mirrors what we see in nature. The material has been specially developed in conjunction with Scion Laboratory and the Bio Polymer Network in New Zealand using plant-based plastic and local flax fibre. It is assembled using only a heat gun to fuse the pieces together.

Honestly, the photographs don’t do it justice. It is a remarkable piece of work.

David Trubridge has a comprehensive website here, which details all of his designs and where you can acquire them around the world.

Essenze ships anywhere and is worth a squizz if you like things artisan and/or New Zealand. You can visit their site here.

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Comments (19)

This looks like the kind of thing you really do have to see with your own eyes. Amazing, J, I bet it was incredible!

Mmmm – I rather suspect you are right, Shira. My father has told me something similar (only he wasn’t as polite!) Bit of a shame because it is really quite magnificent.

Ha! Dads are so awesome, aren’t they?! Love that super cool pendant too!

Apparently, I take after mine. I had better watch what I say!!! 🙂

Naaaah – you are always right on – you’ve got nothing to worry about!! 🙂 Until you get to be his age maybe….
(hehe!) 😉

Wow. I love the way on his website he has the images that inspired the actual light, Was the one you picture above a one off of the gallery?

BCD – there seems to be one Tipu on exhibit in the Hawkes Bay (from what I can deduce, anyway) so, there are at least two in the world!

Soooo gorgeous. Would love to have the pendant over our dining table. . . So perfect! *M*

Hi DTs – Why don’t you? They come in endless colours, too! 🙂

PS – looking forward to seeing all your before and after pics as you complete your happy home!

It is Barbara. Just wish the images did it justice!

Just for kicks, I looked up where you can buy his products in the U.S., and there is place not an hour from me!

We live in a village, WIM2S! From NZ to Texas!- Although, I do know Trubridge has become a almost a household name in the lighting world.

Syders, you took some great shots of Tipu. Looks like an eye/iris to me 🙂 I like the concept of his: “to bring cultural nourishment into people’s lives without using up precious resources and energy.” There’s nothing better than a spring clean… only to realise you need some more furniture and accessories for the home 😉

Marina – I cannot claim credit for those pics.I agree – they are fab’. Trubridge has a lovely style that is both organic and modern to me.

Oh yes, very nice indeed. 🙂

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