What is your life’s purpose?
I am motivated in life to create things which add value to people´s lives. I have always been someone who wants to not just create products, but create products which in turn create experience; so experience is absolutely a driving factor in the way I perceive things and the things I set out to build.
How are you living your purpose?
I’m currently working on Bios Urn, a biodegradable urn designed to grow ashes into a tree, thereby providing an alternative way to be buried after death. We work to help people by adding a value to this moment of life. After starting the company on a whim with my brother Gerard, we have dedicated our entire working lives to producing, creating, and promoting our product, which we see as an alternative and green solution for those who have passed on.
The Bios Urn was originally created in 1997, but we didn’t debut it to the public until 2013, when I began working on pushing it forward. What I am doing coincides with my life mission as our project isn’t just product oriented, it’s experience oriented first and foremost: Because the product is biodegradable, it goes away and disappears after its usage, but what’s left is a living memory. Overall, it’s just a catalyst for growth and helps achieve another thing, which is growing a tree; that’s the reward.
Often times, we receive emails and messages from our customers who have used the Bios Urn for a relative who passed, and hearing how much our product has helped them fulfills me in a way that is hard to put down into words. Still, I am constantly wondering what more I can do, how else I can break down conventions and help people form new connections with the product and experience. That is always on my mind.
How did you find your purpose?
I always knew I wanted to work for myself, and work for something I personally believed in and was emotionally invested in. I started working on Bios Urn a few years ago after graduating from University, and knew that I wanted to pursue this fully because it had meaning and it made an impact. I think there´s always discovery, and it´s not just one big “aha” moment. Discovery is constantly occurring, and I am always finding new purpose with the work I do.
The Bios Urn was created by my brother in 1997 as a design project in university. The idea came to him when he was in the garden planting flowers with our grandmother. She found a dead bird and instinctively planted it into a hole with some seeds on it, thus giving it new life. This inspired Gerard to create the first Bios Urn, and then in 2012 we decided we wanted to focus on pushing it into the public and seeing how people respond. The response was amazing; now we are active in over 40 countries.
After a year of working on Bios Urn, I decided to meet some of the first customers who had used our product; this really challenged me because it put a face behind the people and made everything much more real. It also led me to understand how deeply personal and intimate death is, and how the people who resonate with our project do so on a very deep level. This makes me want to do more to help as many people as possible.
I suppose one of our mottos is that things can be different, and that’s a driving factor for how we push forward at Bios Urn; doing our part to make sure that change is on the way.
What advice do you have for purpose seekers?
Often, it takes time to see any kind of traction, so keep going. If you have an idea and you believe in it, others will believe in it too. I’ve always believed in finding something that not only makes you happy, but also fulfills your soul. It’s hard to have happiness without feeling that what you are doing is aligned with your true intentions and with who you are as a person.
I think it’s important not to compromise your beliefs or ideas, and to try to find a way to align you project in a realistic way without compromising the most essential parts of it. I also think it’s important to outline your brand, your purpose, or your ideas very clearly and be able to define them in a way that gives you a clear understanding or roadmap for following your purpose. People often believe the smallest idea is insignificant, but the truth is that a small idea is only small until you decide to make it big.
Roger Moliné is a product designer and the co-founder of Bios Urn, a biodegradable urn company which promotes a return to nature through its biodegradable urn line. When launched the Bios Urn was awarded with the INDEX award, as a design to improve life, and went on to win similar awards. Bios Urn was the first biodegradable urn on the market to grow ashes into a tree, and since its public launch in 2013, has landed in over 40 countries worldwide. The company is led by him and his brother, Gerard, both of whom are product designers and focus on the intersection of design, nature, and technology. Born in a small town in Catalonia, Roger now lives and works in between Barcelona and Los Angeles.