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Roy Gussow, designer of “The Egg” at the NCSU College of Design, dies at 92

1970 Sidewalk Art Show : From the North Carolina State University Library Archives

The College of Design at North Carolina State University is known for its venerable history. However, few relics are as significant and have played such a catalyzing social role as Roy Gussow’s ellipsoidal sculpture.

Designed in 1961 during Gussow’s stint as a professor at the college, the sculpture has affectionately been called “The Egg” by countless design students for half a century. Nested in the courtyard between Kamphoefner and Brooks Hall, its gleaming mirrored exterior and unique shape are impossible to miss.

The Egg unveiled in 1961: From the North Carolina State University Library Archives

For decades it has served as the epicenter and social gathering place for students, including: Design Council meetings, TGIFs, Design Crawl, Design Collective, BBQs, The infamous Halloween Design Bash, dates/coffee outings and countless other existential interactions etc.

After discussing the array of possibilities during a prolonged Clark “brunch”… aka breakfast, fellow design students and I have already theorized of the eggs impact on future societies. Perhaps distant (human or otherwise) beings will discover this structure and contemplate upon its anthropological significance. Noteworthy are the egg-like forms that proliferate visually/symbolicly in contemporary 20th/21st century culture. Ranging from Alien 1979, Microwave egg illumination, Spinal Tap 1984, to contemporary industrial design such as Thor-Larsen’s “egg chair.”

Lady Gaga 2011 (potentially inspired by COD's "The Egg")

Regardless of its future interpretation however, Roy Gussow’s iconic sculpture remains an undeniable part of the design school landscape as it has for decades and for decades/centuries/eons/millennia/cotillionia to come.

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