The Pompidou Centre in Paris has picked up three large works by David Trubridge for its permanent collection – a major coup for one of our very own designers.
Trubridge, one of New Zealand's top furniture designers, is considered a leader in eco design in France and it's the first time the museum has acquired items created by a modern designer that focus on sustainable development.
The three pieces are the parts of an installation called Icarus, which was first shown at the Milan Salone del Mobile in April 2010. The installation is based on the Greek legend of Icarus, and is made up of two luminous polycarbonate Wing lights circling around Sola, a patterned wooden sphere, coloured orange inside, to represent the sun.
Trubridge's fascination with timeless stories reflects his belief that design can do more than 'prettify' or provide technical solutions – it can also play a social or cultural role.
His French distributor Moa – Meubles et Objets de Aotearoa – says: "It seems certain now that Trubridge’s work has passed from a phase of ‘interesting newcomer' on the European scene to influential classic."
Moa has also been given the windows of the design boutique in the Pompidou Centre’s lobby three times to display Trubridge’s work alongside its own designs and those of other New Zealand designers.
Trubridge is well known for constructing complex forms using sheet materials and computer modelling to unroll strips like an unpeeled apple. This technique has allowed him to keep production in New Zealand by transporting flat-pack (professionally built in market) and kitset (assembled by the purchaser) lights in boxes which are 1/40th and less of their final size.
This reduces the environmental impact and dollar cost of transporting his work, both of which are vital for exporters, particularly in New Zealand.