Amplifying circularity through a large-scale creative activation
Learn more about this project
It was time to epitomise impact. To step beyond our four walls – and share our unique essence – in a large, visible and creative way.
For the past several years, the circular economy (CE) has been at the forefront of the sustainability discussion. In a circular economy, products are reimagined, and diverted back into the supply chain – instead of contributing to landfill.
As the climate crisis escalates, embracing circular practices is vital. And here at Ellis Jones, we’ve been at the forefront of this push – through the work we do and the messages we share.
In 2022, we realised it was time to do more. We wanted to create a large-scale creative activation that raised awareness of how the circular economy can address our climate challenges. Simultaneously, we were eager to position Ellis Jones as leaders in the CE conversation.
It started as an idea. But within months, this idea became a 9-day exhibition at the Abbotsford Convent, spotlighting more than 20 experiments in mycelium design, premiering at the 2023 Melbourne Design Week. This idea became the exhibition called IM-PERMANENT. It also resulted in a formidable new partnership with RMIT Industrial Design.
IM-PERMANENT was a foray into contemporary explorations in mycelium from emerging Australian practitioners. It embodied the impact of circularity in design and manufacturing by exploring mycelium as a biomaterial. Mycelium is the perfect metaphor for circularity, as it’s compostable, and low waste to produce and use. If applied across a range of industries, it could help reduce CO2 emissions by replacing fossil fuel-derived plastics, concrete, leather and polystyrene.
Ellis Jones worked collaboratively with RMIT Industrial Design to realise this project. This included all stages from concept framing to exhibition delivery – spanning marketing, PR, design, curation, communications, and event management.
Developing a distinct event brand for IM-PERMANENT was key to its reach and success. The name spoke to the duality of both material and exhibition. A ‘pop’-up during Melbourne Design Week, with a number of exhibits grown for – and with a lifecycle corresponding to – the dates of the exhibition.
This central concept also applied to the visual presentation of the brand. We started with the question: ‘how might we grow a logo?’ Informed by a hallmark feature of mycelium: its inclination to proliferate. The team developed a 3D typeform, with the letters from IM-PERMANENT manually and organically growing through a 3D simulation. The colour palette was deliberately bright and artificial, representing colours not found in nature, and therefore juxtaposing the earthly, raw aesthetic of mycelium. A counter point to deliver high contrast and visual interest when placing mycelium next to or over the logo.
Overall, we delivered:
- An overarching brand concept for the exhibition
- A visual identity, including a 3D logotype, colour set and typography
- A social media strategy, and accompanying posts and reels (design and copy)
- Event listings across Eventbrite, Facebook and the Abbotsford Convent website
- A public relations campaign, including three media releases
- A range of exhibition collateral, including artwork didactics, posters, a manifesto and a vinyl wall decal
- Exhibition management, including liaison with Abbotsford Convent, RMIT Industrial Design and other partners and suppliers
- Management of the exhibition’s Opening Night
- Post-campaign analysis
IM-PERMANENT achieved our goal, with a significant increase in engagement and reach across Ellis Jones’ social media accounts, as well as strong attendance throughout the exhibition period.
Our key successes include:
- Strong attendance throughout the exhibition, including 250+ attendees on Opening Night, a sold-out Circular Matters panel, and 1,206 visitors during the exhibition period.
- Increased engagement, reach and followers on Instagram over the campaign’s lifetime, with 66,135 accounts reached, 1,500 profile visits, 35.5 median interactions, 942 total interactions, and 143 new followers.
- Increases in views and engagement on LinkedIn, including 469 page views, 286 unique visitors, 37 new followers, 29 average post likes, 7.2 average reposts, and 2 average comments.
- Increased engagement from a modest advertising spend, with 50,273 accounts reached from a targeted ad of our highest-performing reel.
- Strong media coverage, with 9 stories across 6 different publications (Habitus Living, Architecture and Design, Indesign Live, 3RRR, EcoVoice and Planet Ark).
Above all, we showcased how creativity offers a path to address society’s most pressing challenges. We exemplified the importance of timeliness, clarity and visibility in brand positioning. And we highlighted how we can make the greatest impact by joining with caring, clever humans, who are committed to moving people, and changing the world for good.
View the inflatable logotype in AR (requires an iOS device)