Emphasizing the value of community with design

More than ever, many of us feel a need to reclaim our sense of community. With the isolation of the pandemic and disruption to the rituals of our “before” lives, our sense of community has dwindled to smaller and smaller bubbles.

As we think about new cultural shifts emerging from this post-Covid-19 era, a major focus is to design for social impact – which advocates for design to create solutions for your community, or other communities around the world. Prior to the pandemic, we were able to go anywhere, experience the world in person, and participate in the global economy – often at great detriment to the environment. In reaction to this globalization, however, we have started to see a reversal, one more supportive of localism.

How Localism Impacts Connection

Localists are community-minded individuals who support local living and local economies. They support shops and brands that are unique to one’s community, and value diversity and inclusivity for everyone in their community. Localists also advocate for smart towns and cities, where technology is used for to the benefit of all citizens, like high-speed transit systems or free wi-fi for all.

Mohawk Group design trend mood board highlighting the value of local communities through design
Design Trend Moodboard: Localists

Connectivity is an important feature of local living; as humans, we crave belonging and social inclusion in our community.

Smart cities also allow access to green space for its inhabitants, so that all have access to nature and our local neighborhoods can be more sustainable and equitable.

Another thing often needed in communities, especially urban ones, is more outdoor gardens and green space. When you live in an urban area where there isn’t much space, community gardens are an essential mode to connect people to nature and allows for people to grow their own plants and food locally, even on city streets.

How to Start an Employee Community Garden at Your Workplace
Mohawk employees tend an on-site community garden

So here we are, in a new moment that is making us question everything.

During this pandemic, we are seeing nature replenish itself. Wildlife is repopulating and carbon emissions have been reduced worldwide in response to fewer commuters traveling.

We have an opportunity as we reopen society to reimagine how cities and communities cannot just return to normal, but rather remake them better.

We can add bike lanes, extend sidewalks to have more walkable cities, and even add car free zones – which are better for people’s health and wellbeing, as well as growing local businesses. When people are out in the community, they can share in creating these new visions for how we live.

Design will be a part of this, rebuilding the local community. Together, we can reset the function of the street, be better neighbors and localists, and advocate for each other.


We’ve compiled a collection of Mohawk Group commercial flooring products for your Localist inspired palettes:

Urban Mobility – Green Line 946
Urban Model – Midtown 949
Urban Passage II 956 Green Space
Urban Fringe II 956 Green Space
Field of View Dark 696 Verdigris
Field of View Light 696 Verdigris
Macro Bloom 941 Goldspeck
Chromascope – Yellow Bird 360
Optic Hues – Verdigris 759
Large & Local – Nottely 945


Royce Epstein, Mohawk Group A&D Design Director

Royce Epstein is the A&D Design Director for Mohawk Group.
As the face to A&D, Royce shares her passion and vision for design, cultural trends, and the meaning of materials in a broad context. Her role is to evolve and share Mohawk Group’s Design Vision with the A&D community, and to leverage product design with what A&D desires in the field. Constantly on the watch for new trends in all aspects of design and culture, Royce feeds this insight to all our industry’s touch points.

A veteran materials and product specialist, Royce spent two decades working in A&D firms before working with Mohawk. She was named the 2015 Designer of the Year by Interiors and Sources Magazine, and received a HiP award for Rising Star from Interior Design Magazine at Neocon 2016. Royce lives in Philadelphia where she is active in the design, art, and music scenes. She is a board member of Collab at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.