Design Journey: Egg Designs

Egg Designs

WORDS Celeste Jacobs PHOTOS Supplied

Founded by Greg and Roche Dry, Egg Designs has a unique perspective in contemporary furniture, imbued with a soul that’s deeply rooted in the African continent.




This is the piece that started it all, and it remains part of our catalogue. We’ve always approached our designs with a narrative, combined with process and materiality. At the time, laser technology was reasonably new, expensive and not readily available. It certainly wasn’t being used for designing furniture.

We wanted to use it in a feminine and decorative way, where you forget about the material and only see the delicate lace of the structure. The Desert Rose motif was developed with Claire Clarke. We collaborate with other designers who are specialists in their field – not only do they inspire us, they also bring a unique dynamic to our work.




We have produced many pieces for our Rosette collection, such as servers, drinks cabinets, custom installations, lamps and pedestals. This early piece illustrates how we approach design – we never look at what the trends are. Our focus is on the way we tell our story, what our perspective is and how we can create the antiques of the future.

Greg and I were in Mauritius, walking around the markets of Port Louis. It was unbearably hot, so we escaped into a tiny, dark, cool general dealer-type store. While walking around, we found these amazing metal flowers; they inspired this collection. We imagined a field of Namaqualand daisies, and we wanted to replicate that in a piece of furniture.




Matilda was inspired by the plight of the Cape Flats frog, a critically endangered species. The beauty and visual simplicity of Matilda belies the complexity of her manufacture: it was an arduous process that took months to complete. The body required 3D CNC carving, following which the texture of the skin was added by hand and the form was moulded. Only then could we produce her. We included an etched brass lily pad to create a top and complete the story. Matilda is much loved and has found a home all over the world – she’s a well-travelled frog!



We collaborated with Kim Longhurst, an amazing illustrator, to develop a panoramic mural rooted in southern Africa. It has a French feel – but the illustration depicts the amazing Drakensberg and an array of South African flora.




At the moment, we’re working on redefining our understanding about what seating is. This idea will become more prevalent in our new collections, which will launch in May this year. We’re using ceramics – almost creating an anti-chair, if you will. It needs to be shockingly new and unique, showcasing the idea of seating as art, but it needs to remain functional while being re-imagined. The Ostrich Fluff collection is the beginning of that process.

Looking for more on South African design? Take a look at Tonic Design’s journey over the last 20 years.