In collaboration with Mohawk Group, the second-year interior design students at Ohio State were tasked with developing a trend forecast report regarding a topic we feel will influence the future of design - specifically, carpet. We then were to integrate this trend into an innovative carpet collection for Mohawk.
The trend I researched and developed prior to beginning the carpet design is titled ‘Give it a Name,” and it revolves around the impact the prevalence of mental illness is has on our society; additionally, it stresses the importance of giving a name to the individuals personally affected and remembering they are human, too, despite their mental struggles. In a time when such a numerous amount of people in the world will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental health condition at some point in their lifetime, leading figures in fashion, photography, architecture, design, television, film, music, and performance are desperate to bring awareness to mental health through their work. Because mental illness will continue to be prevalent in our day to day lives, an increased desire to remove the negative stigma surrounding it will arise, and a mindset of acceptance, equality, and inclusion will begin to penetrate every industry. With this exposure of mental health to the world, the individuals dealing with these conditions will start to gain their identities back. This trend is the influence behind the Circuitry Collection.
Trend Forecast Report
Visual Positioning Board
The Circuitry Collection
Mental disorders have long been understood as the results of disruptions in neural circuits, so these networks within the brain are described as the “roots” of the symptoms affecting the millions of individuals around the world dealing with some kind of related diagnosis. In the carpet design, a pattern of neurons are connected to one another in at least one synapse location, but some are connected to up to three different neurons to reflect the tendency of real neurons to connect with multiple others. The disruptions in the carpet’s neurons are represented by two neurons that are too far apart to connect with one another. Additionally, the network of neurons overlays and intertwines with the fluid lines in the background to represent the entanglement of roots without significantly interrupting the wayfinding purpose of those lines.
The collection consists of six tiles and comes in two colorways - Stone and Root - and is intended to be installed as displayed for wayfinding or to imply movement and energy within stationery spaces like waiting rooms and offices.
The carpet’s color palette, consisting of four PANTONE colors split between two colorways, was chosen for its earthy qualities (connecting back to the roots concept) and for the calming psychological qualities of blues and greens. The palette also allows for the carpet to fit universally into workplace and healthcare spaces.
One of the most popular forms of therapy for those diagnosed with mental illness is drug therapy. Though not all related to mental illness, the CDC reported in 2016 that nearly 50% of Americans were using 1 prescription drug; 24% were using three or more and 12% were using five or more. Due to this, an extremely large number of empty prescription medication bottles are generated every year, but unfortunately many end up in landfills because they are made of #5 plastic (polypropylene) - a type of plastic that the majority of recycling systems refuse to collect.
Preserve’s Gimme 5 Program is combating this issue by providing recycling services in the U.S. specifically for #5 plastics, including more than just prescription medication bottles, and turning them into new Preserve products, thus eliminating the need for virgin plastics. With a partnership between Mohawk Group and Preserve, these otherwise landfill-bound plastics are gathered and turned into a carpet backing for the Circuitry Collection. This way, the carpet integrates the byproducts of drug therapy for mental illness and subtly incorporates them into its construction, providing a constant reminder of those affected and allowing the carpet to represent them.
Product Type: Tiles
Product Size: 24” x 24”
Manufacturer: Mohawk Group
Carpet Fiber: Colorstrand Nylon
Backing Material: Recycled medication bottles
Construction: Tufted, multi-level loop pile
Pile Height: 0.25” - 0.45”
Dye Method: Solution dyed
Installation: Glued down