Sanctuaria: Where Design Meets Biology

Morgan Ruben Jansen op de Haar recently graduated from the Utrecht School of the Arts in Product Design where he created Sanctuaria as his graduate project.

Sanctuaria consists of a series of capsules that contain endangered rainforest flora such as orchids, ferns and mosses that will be able to survive regardless of what happens to their natural habitat. The project features two as of yet unnamed species of orchid obtained from cut trees in Asia, their homeland already destroyed. Within the capsules they find their last refuge.



The capsules are suspended within frames made of wood, stone and metal—materials that have been used by man in almost every era. The plants themselves are grown on durable synthetic materials such as hygrolon and Perspex.




The inspiration for this project comes from Morgan’s lifelong fascination with nature and its complex ecosystems as well as his experience interning with Formafantasma.

The project was made possible with support by a botanist from the Hortus Botanicus Leiden, the Glassworkshop of the Utrecht University and the research institute Fraunhofer COMEDD.

Jaime Derringer, Founder + Executive Editor of Design Milk, is a Jersey girl living in SoCal. She dreams about funky, artistic jewelry + having enough free time to enjoy some of her favorite things—running, reading, making music, and drawing.