David Trubridge at Superstudio Piú in Milan

April 20, 2010

For Milan Design Week 2010, New Zealand-based designer David Trubridge created an installation based on the story of Icarus, that was shown at Superstudio Piú.


Description from David Trubridge:

Last year we told the Maori story of ‘The Three Baskets of Knowledge’. This year we follow that up by illustrating the dual nature of this knowledge.

Who hasn’t stood on a cliff-top and longed to leap off, soaring effortlessly? Flight has forever been mankind’s ultimate dream. That dream is both a physical escape from the bondage of gravity, and a metaphorical liberation from the body’s earthly desires. We can now fly, whether it is in a jet, a hang-glider or a squirrel suit. But has this technical achievement granted us enrichment or just adrenalin rush? We suggest that such technical advances are insufficient on their own without greater wisdom. Like Icarus, we could be carried away and fly too close to the destructive heat of the sun.

New Zealand used to be inhabited solely by birds – there were no mammals. In Maori mythology birds are the ‘Kaitiaki’, the original guardians. All-seeing, they glide freely over the land, keeping watch. They are the intermediaries with the sky, the heavens and the gods.

We are now the guardians of our planet which is threatened by the heat of the sun. We must not lose our aspirations but use our knowledge wisely for the benefit of all. The ability to fly is not enough – it is what we do with it that matters. Borne by our wings, we can spread our knowledge for all, rather than flying off alone too high.

The installation is made up of three Wing forms spiraling around Sola, a sun form, accompanied by our well-known Coral light and a new table light.

Wings: 1mm hand sanded polycarbonate fastened with aluminium rivets. 2.8 m long x 80 cm wide. 12 watt, 12 volt LED strip lights. Designed by David Trubridge with Amy Lynch and Peter Tang.

Sola: 2mm hoop pine plywood, Resene ‘Westside’ orange acrylic paint on the inside and fastened with aluminium rivets. 1.35 m diameter. 7 watt, 12 volt LED spotlight. Designed by David Trubridge.

Coral: 1.5mm bamboo plywood, Resene ‘Citrus’ green acrylic paint on the inside and fastened with nylon push-in clips. Sold as kitset for efficient and cheap freighting. 60 cm diameter. 7 watt, 12 volt LED bulb. Designed by David Trubridge.

Luvial Lamps: ‘Sand’ shade by David Trubridge is made of 1.5mm bamboo plywood shade on a solid Ash base “Little Ed’ designed by Ben Pearce.

Visit David Trubridge’s website – here.