Ep. 19: David Trubridge

New Zealand-based designer/maker David Trubridge, who is known the world over for his beautiful and environmentally responsible lighting and furniture, has wandered to the corners of the earth, soaked up all its glory, and pays homage to it in everything he does. Amy and Jaime are rapt as he details his life of adventures and poetically distills how they inform his work and his experience of humanity. A real salt of the earth, this guy.

Photo by Richard Brimer

Photo by Richard Brimer

What do you say about a man who has traveled the earth, both on land and by sea, a man whose designs are so well-loved across the globe, whose products tread lightly on the earth? 

David's renown lighting designs

David's renown lighting designs

David Trubridge has always been one of our favorite designers, not only because of his gorgeous geometric, sustainable lighting and furniture, but because his memoir, So Far, gives deeper understanding of David as a person and why he does what he does.

David in the arctic

David in the arctic

David talks to us about spending a lot of time alone as a child, creating his own world, and discovering his creativity. He studied boat building in school, and eventually ended up renovating an old ruin out of necessity, learning how to make windows, doors and furniture. Eventually, he ends up designing his first piece of furniture, the Body Raft, that kicks off his now famous career as a designer of home decor.

Renovating the old house

Renovating the old house

The Body Raft

The Body Raft

One of the great lessons of the sea is that you have to go with the flow and take your knocks and often the direct route is not a straight line.
— David Trubridge
The Hornpipe

The Hornpipe

He told us about his adventures at sea with his family, where they lived on a boat and sailed around the world for 10 years!

Arriving in New Zealand

Arriving in New Zealand

One of the most fascinating things about David is his hunger for adventure and travel. He's been practically everywhere, even to the glaciers of Antarctica. He recounts stories of emotional helicopter rides, open-air camping, and a year in Tahiti. Plus, he talks about his relationship to the elements (earth, water, fire etc.), and how he believes that he's now in a life phase of the throat chakra, or "communication" chakra. He's an incredible person to say the least!

In David's Studio

In David's Studio

We don't want to give it all away so listen to the episode above!

David's Workshop

David's Workshop

Domaine de Boisbuchet workshop

Domaine de Boisbuchet workshop

See more of David's work at davidtrubridge.com and follow him on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.


If you want more Clever, sign up for the newsletter to get notified of new episodes as they're released. Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. And most importantly, please spread the word to anyone who you think would dig it. 

Subscribe on iTunesStitcherGoogle PlaySoundCloud, or subscribe using our feed: http://clever.libsyn.com/rss via your favorite podcast app. And please, if you like us, give us a rating!

Special thanks to Chris Modl of Yore Studio for editing this episode.
Music in this episode courtesy of El Ten Eleven—hear more on Bandcamp.
Shoutout to Jenny Rask for designing the Clever logo.