June 24, 2013

Winner of the 2013 Hospitality Design Exposition & Conference in Las Vegas

Trinity’s hammock concept has won the 2013 Innovation award for outdoor furniture at the recent Hospitality Design Exposition & Conference in Las Vegas, the world standard in hospitality design expositions. Trinity’s triple-hammock concept rethinks the traditional use of hammocks, making it a social activity.

“I was inspired by the current trend toward making the outdoors a community living space,” explains Gilbert Tourville, Trinity’s founder. “We’re setting up living rooms, dining rooms, and even kitchens in our backyards! With my Trinity concept, the idea is to transform the solitary hammock experience into a time for sharing and relaxing.”

The Trinity concept
The Trinity concept is composed of a stainless steel tubular structure on which three hammocks – in a choice of woven or quilted – are suspended, along with a small suspended teak table. As Tourville notes, “It’s a weatherproof piece of furniture that goes just as well on the beach as in the backyard or at poolside. Its shape, materials, and sense of lightness are inspired by the sea and sailboats.” Both its size and its design make it just as well suited to the hospitality industry as to residential uses.

The Trinity concept is available in two models.Eternity, with its traditional shape and hexagonal roof, is reminiscent of a small garden gazebo. On the other hand, the Infinity model, which won the award at the Las Vegas exposition, explores unusual shapes for garden furniture. With its frame made of three large circles leaning toward each other, it explores the endlessly winding symbol of infinity in an ethereal dynamic

The designer
Gilbert Tourville was swept up in a passion for roaming and meeting people at a very young age. His first job was as a ship’s pilot in the merchant marine. His travels gave him a taste for novelty and creating projects. And so, he quickly started a new career as a restaurateur. For twenty years, he opened and operated a number of highly successful café-restaurant concepts in Quebec.

Trinity hammocks follow the same logic of discovery and innovation. “As always, it started with a simple idea,” Gilbert remembers. In 2011, he developed the prototypes for his Trinity concept. Rather than call upon local manufacturers, he went to Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia to find artisans with unique talents. With a well-designed, well-manufactured product, he made a splash at the 2012 Casual Market Show in Chicago, and at the Las Vegas exposition this year. He is now looking to develop the market for his concept by meeting with new distributors. “I’m always open to new partnership offers, to extend distribution of my products to new territories.”

A fair-trade business
By engaging artisans in Southeast Asia, Gilbert Tourville was interested not only in finding extraordinary knowhow. He also wanted to take part in a community history woven of encounters, mutual aid, and local identities. He therefore purchases his quilted hammocks from artisans in development programs supervised by the organization Mekong Plus to benefit poor communities in Vietnam and Cambodia.

In the same spirit, the hand-woven hammocks are purchased directly from the Malbri community. This tribe of hunter-gatherers in northern Thailand has an uneasy relationship with modern society, which has tried to convert its members to its values and has often exploited them. The Malbri make hammocks of the highest quality, the sale of which helps to ensure their financial independence, thus preserving their identity.

Design: Gilbert Tourville

Photography:  Trinity Hammocks

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