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Why Design Now? – IDL

Design as culture, says David Trubridge.

Why Design Now? – IDL


February 25th, 2010

New Zealand’s foremost designer David Trubridge has been selected for the fourth edition of Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt 2010 National Design Triennial.

Featuring the Spiral Islands range, a sculptural lighting range developed specially for an installation at the 2008 Milan Furniture Fair, the Triennial exhibition will debut 14 May 2010 at the New York Design Museum.

‘Why Design Now?’ examines why design thinking is an essential tool for solving some of today’s most urgent problems, an issue that Trubridge holds particularly close to heart.

“It is a question I am constantly grappling with. We desperately need new designs for transport, for farming, for our bankrupt economic systems.

“I see art, design and craft as a continuum of processes, where one process does not end but fades into the next. My work lies fairly far up the scale towards the art end, which means that much of its ’function’ is not so much practical as artistic and aesthetic, in other words, cultural.

The ‘Spiral lights’ are a manifestation of Trubridge’s cultural design, which based on the “wondrous” forms of the eponymous Pacific islands, are evocative pieces that “recreate that vital connection to nature” through suggestion.

“So people don’t buy my lights just for ’light’ (that is much cheaper at lighting direct!) but for something more.”

“This is design as culture, I hope – all those riches of human creativity that make us what we are – that have defined societies throughout human history. 

“I want it to be nourishing again, not the junk food of consumerism that only leaves us ever more unsatisfied, obese and craving more.”

The National Design Triennial 2010 will be showing at the Cooper-Hewitt from 14 My 2001 until 9 January 2011.



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