The Breakdown 

The Breakdown is a children's puzzle that encourages kids to have a positive environmental impact.

This biodegradable puzzle is made of seed paper and compostable cardboard, once planted it will grown into the flower depicted on the assembled puzzle. A product life-cycle coined, plantable play,

Project done in collaboration with Benjamin Ruoff.
Check out The Breakdown being exhibited at NYCxDesign Week



The Breakdown was designed for Grouphug’s NYCxDesignWeek exhibition “Renew Me”, a sustainable design show.


“The theme of the show is energy & the environment. It feels like there is an unlimited supply of electricity, food, & materials available at our fingertips. If we continue consumption at this rate, what does the future hold? Imagine society 100 years from now, when natural resources have been depleted and there is a boom of sustainable inventions.”


Design Development

The future of the planet lies with the future generations, this prompted the idea of designing for kids. We wanted to design a product that would encourage kids to have a positive environmental impact, which led to the idea of biodegradable toys.

How can biodegradability be fun?
Final design idea: A plantable toy that encourages positive environmental impact.


How it Breaks Down

The puzzle is made from seed-embedded paper and compostable cardboard. Once buried in the ground, it will naturally biodegrade and grow into the flowers depicted on the puzzle via the seeds.

Seed embedded paper.

Seed embedded paper.

Recycled, compostable cardboard.

Recycled, compostable cardboard.


Puzzle Graphic Design

The puzzle graphics were inspired by almanac-style illustrations and depict the flowers the puzzle will grow into.



The final design became The Breakdown, a product about plantable play. It was exhibited at NYCxDesign Week at the sustainability show “Renew Me” which was hosted by Grouphug Tech. The Breakdown received much positive feedback and received press with the show by Core77 and The New York Times.