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Cultivating creativity: growing graphics with biophilic design

Updated: Dec 12, 2023

hand holding a small hexagon tile covered in moss
Growable Graphics are little ecosystems (Image Credit: Sugar Studio)



In the world of design, innovation knows no bounds. Imagine signage that grows, adapts, and transforms over time, seamlessly blending nature with graphic design. This is the captivating concept of Growable Graphics, an innovative approach created by graphic designer Trixi Marx at Sugar Studio.

Fusion of nature with creativity

Sugar Studio has reimagined traditional printed signage as a dynamic, living entity by incorporating living elements such as moss and lichen species into their creations.

living wall sign made out of hexagon wooden tiles covered in moss and lichen
Dynamic and ever-changing sustainable graphics (Image Credit: Sugar Studio)

At the core of this visionary concept lies the influence of biophilic design, an approach to designing buildings, spaces, and communities that integrates elements of nature into the built environment. It stems from the word ‘biophilia’, which means ‘love of nature’. Biophilic design aims to create spaces that connect people with nature, enhance physical and mental well-being and promote a sense of harmony and tranquility. Bringing the outside world in, this can be achieved by incorporating features such as natural light, greenery, views of the outdoors, and the use of natural materials.

Popular in the field of architecture and interior design, Sugar Studio had the vision to merge biophilic design with graphic design and create a style that they call: Biophilic Graphic Design.

A sustainable signage system

Growable Graphics utilises hexagon-shaped wooden tiles adorned with moss and lichen for reusable signage at temporary events. These living tiles flourish on rooftops, in gardens, or on terraces throughout the year. When signage is required, the hexagon tiles are harvested and like a puzzle, these pieces can be put together to form a variety of geometric shapes, letters and patterns. Moss and lichen species offer a diverse range of colors, textures, and forms, allowing for endless creative possibilities in design. Afterwards, the tiles seamlessly return to their growing spaces ready to be used over and over again without creating any waste.

close-up of hexagon tiles covered in moss and lichen
Moss and lichen species offer a diverse range of colours, textures, and forms (Image Credit: Sugar Studio)

The future of eco-conscious design

In a world seeking sustainable alternatives, self-sustaining living graphics, with a carefully designed lifecycle could be a game changer when it comes to solving our waste problem. Unlike conventional signage that is often thrown away after a limited time, living signage wouldn't have to get repaired or replaced. These innovative graphics would also age with their purpose, biodegrade naturally after use, and even contribute to carbon absorption, surpassing their production emissions. This approachalso presents a creative alternative for shop signs, billboards, and signage systems, offering a sustainable way to infuse more greenery into spaces.

hexagon moss and lichen tiles growing on a wooden board
A sustainable way to infuse more greenery into spaces (Image Credit: Sugar Studio)

Growable Graphics, fueled by the principles of biophilic design, can open up a realm of possibilities in the world of design. This unique approach allows for dynamic, ever-changing graphics that not only communicate information but last longer, connects us to nature, and leaves a lasting impression.

Growable Graphics has been nominated for Green Concept Award 2023.


Benefits of Growable Graphics

  • Biophilic Connection By incorporating living organisms, these graphics offer a direct connection to nature, promoting a sense of well-being and tranquility.

  • Sustainable Design The use of living elements minimises environmental impact. These graphics are reusable, biodegradable and reduces the need for constant manufacturing.

  • Dynamic Brand Identity Growable Graphics breathe life into a brand's visual identity with their ever-changing nature.It captures attention and leaves a lasting impression on viewers.


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