Greg Gamble and Philippe van der Merwe are the creative duo behind Tonic design.
Tonic specialises in bespoke furniture and interior design.
Gamble and Van der Merwe met as students and started working together soon after graduating. It wasn’t long before they realised that their fledgling collaboration had the potential to be a new voice in the market, but that commissions alone weren’t going to give them the scope to express this.
Taking the limited amount of time and money available, they managed to design and manufacture their first range of furniture nearly fifteen years ago.
At a time of lively debate as to what constituted meaningful South African design, Gamble and Van der Merwe’s furniture was an exploration of the principles of modernism, and the relevance of this school of thinking to the local, South African, context.
Since then, the very same philosophy has been applied to the two new collections of work Tonic produces annually.
Tonic’s proactive approach to their work can always be seen on their showroom floor. At the same time, their love of construction and curatorship is practiced on concepts of varying scales.
This extensive body of work has come to illustrate the delicate network of theory, methodology and manufacturing a contemporary South African design brand must negotiate daily to define an unsentimental, yet relevant presence in the world.