Though he considers sustainability carefully in everything he makes, New Zealand designer David Trubridge resists the "eco-design" label; for him, there's only good design or bad design. As he writes on his website, "If design is not actively trying to preserve our future it is, by default, destroying it." Amen.
All of the wood Trubridge uses is from sustainably managed plantations in Australia, New Zealand, or the U.S. He uses plywood, since it produces the least waste when it's converted from timber, and creates designs that use the minimum amount of material possible. The wood is either left natural, or finished with non-toxic natural oils. Any plastic used is designed to easily be separated and recycled.
Trubridge's thinking about sustainability has gone well beyond materials. Many of the designs, like the lights pictured above, are flatpacked to take less space when shipped. All manufacturing happens in New Zealand, using 70% renewable energy. Waste from the factory is sorted and recycled. Trubridge is also planning to build a new workshop facility that's even more sustainable.
Everything Trubridge makes is built to last—the designs are classic, so they won't look out of date quickly, and everything is well-made. He believes we have too much stuff in our homes, and tries to help bring people the sort of lasting satisfaction that can reduce the desire to go out and buy more.
We love his simple, beautiful aesthetic, and we love his big-picture thinking, which goes farther than just the objects he makes. "It is clear that we have to redesign everything to make our lifestyle sustainable," Trubridge says. "By that I don’t just mean things, but more importantly the way we do things."
See more of his work at David Trubridge Design.
(Images: David Trubridge Design, used with permission)