March 1, 2020

Mohawk Group Dives into the Essence of Birds of Prey with New Living Product Line

Mohawk Group’s Snowy colorway, seen here in the Flight and Feather patterns, provides a striking focal point in any space. Photography courtesy of Mohawk Group. 

For designers, ecological responsibility often is as important as beauty when it comes to product specification. Collections that are kind to the earth and connect us to it are even better—research shows that bringing nature into the built environment creates spaces that are soothing and conducive to well-being. So the new Owls collection from Mohawk Group—a leader in sustainable commercial flooring—is sure to resonate.

This array of ten versatile carpet plank styles—co-designed with Jason F. McLennan and inspired by the rich and distinctive plumage of North American owls—reinterprets the essence of these birds of prey through color and patterning. Each design features mottled shades of black, brown, tan, and grey that take flight in contract interiors. Abstract visuals and layered textures create intriguing, coordinating combinations across two 12” x 36” motifs: Feather and Flight. “Birds are such an indicator of our environmental footprint on the world. With that in mind, we dug deeper into owls to truly understand and interpret their textures and patterns,” said Jackie Dettmar, vice president of design and product development at Mohawk Group.

The Owls carpet plank collection was designed by Jason F. McLennan of McLennan Design in collaboration with Mohawk Group. Photography courtesy of Mohawk Group. 

The Owls collection builds upon the biophilic design principles of Lichen, the company’s first collaboration with McLennan. While that group of styles drew from the look and feel of “nature’s carpet,” the aim for the new line was to create something equally soft and inviting, yet with a different character. “When Mohawk Group approached me to do a sequel to Lichen, we had to think about what would have a similar impact of drawing people into nature—but in a new way,” said McLennan. “If you are trying to create a design that works aesthetically but also works on a deep psychological level, you have to find this balance between the abstraction and the literal manifestation—the essence.” One important goal was to instill a deeper meaning into the product—a cerebral response, primal connection, and subconscious recognition.

Like Lichen, Owls meets the stringent requirements of the Living Product Challenge—a product certification program, advocacy tool, and philosophy developed by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI). Each style within the collection is carbon neutral, with no toxic chemicals, creating a measurable positive impact for the planet. Through the certification of more than 300 carpet plank motifs that originate within Mohawk Group’s “Living Site” facility in Glasgow, Virginia, the company ensures that the streamlined operations behind its products decrease water usage, for instance, by employing special processes and community partnerships to ultimately lower environmental impact.

Each style in Owls meets the stringent requirements of the Living Product Challenge Petal Certification. Photography courtesy of Mohawk Group. 

Designers can rest assured knowing that, while the Owls collection adds a dramatic effect to a wide range of commercial interiors, it’s also an ideal choice for any high impact environment. For example, Owls comes standard with Red List-free Duracolor Tricor solution-dyed nylon fiber—which utilizes a groundbreaking modified triangular-shaped core to deliver unsurpassed stain resistance, colorfastness, durability, color clarity and enhanced soil performance—as well as Red List-free EcoFlex NXT tile backing. Additionally, the collection integrates many of the same innovations that debuted with Lichen, including lower-impact yarn systems and Pattern Perfect tufting technology, solidifying a commitment to leave a smaller footprint while extending a social “handprint.”

The distinguished feather patterns of owl species, such as the Western Screech, provided inspiration for the collection. Photography courtesy Mohawk Group. 

Using the Living Product framework, Owls generates a net positive impact for people and the natural world through innovations in the materials, manufacturing and community involvement initiatives behind the collaboration. Just as these birds play a regenerative role in their ecosystem, this collection is on track to give more resources back to the environment than it uses during its entire life cycle.

Recent DesignWire