David Trubridge graduated from Newcastle University in England in 1972 with a degree in Naval Architecture (Boat Design). Working as a forester in rural Northumberland for the next ten years, he taught himself to make furniture. His carefully crafted designs were shown all over the UK.
In 1981, Trubridge and his wife Linda set off to sail around the world with their two small sons. Selling all they had and purchasing the Hornpipe, the boat would be their home for the next four years as they navigated their way throughout the Caribbean and the Pacific.
The family arrived in New Zealand in 1985. Deeply inspired by his impressions of the Pacific, Trubridge began to develop furniture which held close connotations with the sea. Fortunes changed dramatically for Trubridge with his re-launch of Body Raft 98 which was taken to the Milan Furniture Fair in 2001 and brought into production by Cappellini. This signaled the transformation of the business from a small-scale model to one that has a considerable presence on the international lighting and furniture market.
“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.”
- David Trubridge, during an interview with the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum