David Trubridge Lecture

Adjunct Professor David Trubridge.

It gave me great pleasure this morning to introduce David Trubridge to students  and staff from Product Design, Object and Jewelery. Many of them knew David’s work, some might have heard David talk before but I am almost certain that it was the first time our new 1st years had seen him.
I am delighted to reiterate that David Trubridge has recently been appointed as Adjunct Professor to our Department of Design and Visual Arts  – I for one look forward to us working with him over the coming years.
David graduated as a Naval Architect from Newcastle University Britain, but since then he has worked as a furniture designer/maker and architect.
Over recent years his designs have been featured over 60 times in publications around the world from Portugal to Lithuania, Ireland to Taiwan,
In various recent European articles his work has been identified as internationally
trendsetting in a new form of “raw sophistication”.
In New Zealand he has set up his own manufacturing workshop and n 2007 he was given NZ’s highest design award, the John Britten Award, by the Designer’s Institute of NZ for his contribution to NZ design.
David was one of the Antarctic Arts Fellows who were selected to go to Antarctica in the austral summer of 2004/5, which has led to a whole new emphasis on sustainable design in his work, and an awareness of both the moral responsibilities and the enormous opportunities for today’s designers. His artwork ‘On Thin Ice’ has been shown at the Natural World Museum/UN exhibition on global warming in Oslo/Brussels/Chicago in 2007/8.

Whilst on the subject of responsible design-

Designer and design critic Victor Papenek famously said:

“there are professions more harmful that industrial design, but only a very few of them. And possibly only one profession is phonier – advertising design. In persuading people to buy things, with money they don’t have in order to impress other who don’t care is probably the phoniest field in existence today. Industrial design by concocting the tawdry idiocies hawked by advertisers comes a close second”

In his book  the eco-design handbook Alistair Fuad-luke tells us that:

“25% of the world’s population of approx 6 billion people account for 80% of global energy use, 90% of car use and 85% of chemical use. By 2050 there may be 20 billion people on the planet. Global warming is melting ice caps and permafrost with consequent rises in sea levels of up to 60cms”

Recently the Department of Design signed the Kyoto Design Declaration (KDD) that commits us to sharing the global responsibility for building sustainable, human-centred and creative societies. The KDD says:

“We must no longer strive to do better what we already know how to do, but do things differently in order to create new sustainable situations on a large scale.
In an age where individuals, societies, economies, and companies can feel lost regarding future global issues, the Designer has an essential role to play in putting mankind back in the centre of the economy.
In placing the individual at the heart of their interests, the Designer is responsible for seeing that the Economy serves mankind, rather than profit. Profit is thus reduced to a means, not an end”

It is with these thoughts ringing in my ears that the appointment of David as Adjunct Professor is given even greater importance for David can teach us all much about sustainability, empathy and honesty in design.

David, congratulations on your appointment.

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