The Breakdown

Designers: Renee Collins + Benjamin Ruoff.
Photographers: Renee Collins + Sadie Price-Elliott
Exhibition: NYCxDesign Week + Grouphug Tech

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.


nyc design week

The Breakdown was designed for the NYCxDesignWeek exhibition “Renew Me”, a sustainable design show hosted by Grouphug Tech.

“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.”



We wanted to design a product that would encourage kids to have a positive environmental impact, which led to how biodegradability can be fun. Plantable toys that encourages positive environmental impact.



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.


puzzle graphics

Puzzle graphics were inspired by almanac illustrations. The flower depicted is the flower the puzzle will grow into when planted.


final design

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.