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David Trubridge is a designer well known for his ethical and sustainable approach to product design. In 2015, Daniel Gudsell, Abodo’s founder and marketing director, heard Trubridge speaking at a Living Building Futures Institute conference, and they found a shared philosophy towards design and sustainability. He approached the designer with a proposal to come up with a range of natural timber facades with multiple uses that could fit Abodo’s carefully crafted timber product range.
Abodo’s wood products are locally grown, FSC® certified and free from common wood preservatives – and thus are in line with David’s own design ethos.” says Gudsell. “From a market perspective we felt there was a niche for decorative screening and facades with a point of difference – in this case a combination of Abodo’s unique materials and David Trubridge’s nature-inspired design flair.”
After a design workshop with David Trubridge, a range of four panels incised with abstracted forms derived from New Zealand native plants and flax weavings were derived. The characteristics of pohuehue, a sprawling groundcover, led to a geometric panel which can be mirrored or rotated to create several effects. The long, flat leaves of maukoro, a native broom, are reflected in a panel with strong and symmetrical outlines. The distinctive gourd of the nikau, a palm found in coastal and lowland forests of New Zealand, has been extended into a tear-shaped motif, and Abodo’s Hex Weave panel has a design abstracted from the form and patterning of traditional Maori flax weaving.
“These facades and screens can be used to add warmth and beauty to a range of exterior and interior applications,” says Gudsell. “Like the rest of the products we supply, they fit our ethos of crafting timbers that are safe for people and the environment. They are lasting natural products, free of toxins that are crafted with respect from beginning to end – allowing us to meet today’s needs without disadvantaging future generations.
Many exterior wood products used today are harvested from unsustainable old-growth forests, or from chemically preserved softwoods. Both ultimately cause personal or environmental harm. At Abodo we aim to change that. Our vision is for all timbers to be safe, sustainable and cared for, like the forests they grow in.”
Abodo’s David Trubridge Screenings will be available in New Zealand in from September 2016.
Image source NZIA and David St George