Thumbnail Image

Generation scrap: designing with waste to transform the carpet industry

Matheny, Rebekah; Epstein, Royce

This paper presents the explorative design process and proposed concepts from the project “Generation Scrap” project at The Ohio State University’s Department of Design. This project is positioned within an Interior Finish Materials and Methods course in partnership with the flooring and carpet manufacturer Mohawk Group, part of the global Mohawk Industries. Building upon the work of Mohawk’s A&D Design Director, this project first looks at “Scrap Culture,” understanding the world today through the lens of the Anthropocene and Plastic Age. GenZ students explore innovative concepts to mitigate waste, proposing new carpet designs that reduce, reuse, or recycle waste to create a more sustainably built and natural environment. Mohawk’s extensive knowledge and advancements within sustainable manufacturing and the circular economy provides students with resources to develop innovative solutions for a realistic carpet design that would have a positive impact on the environment. This partnership project highlights the importance of collaboration between sustainability organizations, both educational and industry, to create designs that emotionally resonate with end users who demand sustainable products in the marketplace. Outcomes included concepts ranging from new carpet fibers or backing solutions created from agricultural, industrial, and consumer waste to new patterns based on biophilia, demonstrating the ingenuity and creative problem solving that GenZ possess.
Published in: PLATE – Product lifetimes and the environment : 3rd PLATE Conference, September 18–20, 2019 Berlin, Germany, Universitätsverlag der TU Berlin
Published by ISBN 978-3-7983-3125-9