David Trubridge graduated from Newcastle University in England in 1972 with a degree in Naval Architecture (Boat Design). Working as a forester in rural Northumberland for the next ten years, he taught himself to make furniture. His carefully crafted designs were shown all over the UK, including at Victoria and Albert Museum and St Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh.
In 1981, Trubridge and his wife Linda set off to sail around the world. With two small sons on board the family embraced the opportunity for an open-ended adventure.
Selling all they had and purchasing the Hornpipe, the boat would be their home for the next four years as they navigated their way throughout the Caribbean and the Pacific. Whilst here Trubridge made furniture for the expatriate community. The family arrived in New Zealand in 1985. By basing themselves in the Bay of Islands, regular sailing trips could be undertaken to explore the local area. Deeply inspired by his impressions of the Pacific, Trubridge began to develop furniture which held close connotations with the sea. The Canoe Chair was purchased by the New Zealand embassy in Tokyo; Hornpipe Bench went on to win numerous awards, including a trip to Japan and a residency for the designer at the Kyoto College of Art. Fortunes changed dramatically for Trubridge in 1998 with his launch of Body Raft 98. Additional development resulted in a second version, which was taken to the Milan Furniture Fair in 2001 and picked up by the Italian Manufacturer Cappellini. This signaled the transformation of the business from a small-scale model to one that has a considerable presence on the international lighting and furniture market. In September 2011, the company moved to new premises in Whakatu, Hawkes Bay. This incorporates a showroom, design studio and large workshop in which all the products are manufactured. While the advent and integration of computers has had an immense affect on the design process, Trubridge's belief in craftsmanship continues to play a vital role in the creation, and execution, of new designs. Digital technology is harnessed within the business with utmost efficiency, ensuring that design development can be easily translated into production and manufacturing. The environmental impact of consumerism and the design process is one of Trubridge's key concerns. This is reflected throughout his collections. A trip to Antarctica in 2004/5 as an Antarctic Arts Fellow fueled this belief that design should have a moral and ecological responsibility ingrained within it.