David Trubridge designed the Cloud lights in 2008 as part of his Spiral Islands installation at Zona Tortona in Milan. For greater impact, the installation was designed to tell a story, and the set of three Island Seats each had a Cloud above them which mirrored their shape.
The inspiration for Clouds can be traced back to when David and his young family went on their open-ended voyage sailing around the world on their yacht Hornpipe. He observed the countless atolls and small islands with a stationary cloud sitting above them. Trade winds blow over the land, and its heat condenses to form a cloud in the same shape as the island below. Centuries before the advent of GPS, Polynesian navigators used these clouds to find the low-lying land which is so hard to see at sea level.