Eggs may be delicious, but they’re also fragile and messy, qualities that make them particularly difficult to transport. That’s probably why many manufacturers still package eggs in styrofoam or plastic cartons, which are as ungainly as they are environmentally unfriendly. Portuguese design student Gil Rodrigues thought he could do better. As a project, he created a new type of egg container that trades in the styrofoam for cardboard, and the bulbous carton shape for a folding hexagon.
Egg cartons are designed the way that they are for a simple reason: eggs not only need to be transported by a container, but also cushioned from breakage, meaning eggs don’t stack well on top of one another. Rodrigues’s solution was to make the egg carton a series of six conjoined pyramids, each of which is a self-contained triangular box that both stores and cushions an individual egg.
Because eggs can’t be safely stacked on top of another without breaking, egg cartons take up a lot of real estate within a refrigerator. Rodrigues’s conjoined, pyramidal design solves this problem by allowing the entire carton to fold up into a compact hexagon when not being used. Even better, you can rip off individual chambers once they have been emptied of eggs to make this hexagon even more compact, folding it into a larger cube, pyramid, or polygon instead.
There is one problem with Rodrigues’s design, though. Compact and efficient as it may be, it’s also essentially a piece of cardboard origami. There is no glue holding together this egg carton at all, just a series of folded cardboard leaves with cut grooves that allow it to be assembled without adhesive. That might make Rodrigues’s hex-egg-on carton design el-egg-ant (I’ll stop now), but it also probably makes this design difficult enough to mass-assemble that you shouldn’t expect to see it in supermarkets anytime soon.
You can see more of Rodrigues’s work here.