Parker 3D, an interior plantscaper based in the USA, designed the lighting installation in the Mall of the Emirates (MOE) for the holy month of Ramadan.
John Carter, design director, Parker 3D, said all internal staff were used to design and consult on the project.
From the time the firm landed the contract till the point of installation took six weeks, which Carter said was a rush for a custom-fabricated lighting display that is roughly the size of a football field.
“Proposal from property was on May 8, presentation of concept in Dubai was on June 5, the project was awarded June 16, and installation began July 25,” said Carter. The lighting installation was publicly displayed on August 1.
Custom LED lights manufactured to Parker 3D specs as well as compact fluorescent lights were used in the display.
Carter said some of the challenges the firm faced included international rush shipping and customs, as well as changing the feel of one of largest spaces the firm has ever designed within a short time frame and on a budget.
“We were all extremely proud to participate in such a respectful exchange of cultural vision, especially at this time. We found it particularly pleasing to be labouring to promote their spiritual vision,” added Carter.
Ed Manner, senior designer, Parker 3D, said he was particularly pleased with the project for the Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) group. “MAF is a consistent leader and innovator. Our program at Mall of the Emirates is the next step in delivering solutions that represent the very latest in MENA mall marketing successes.”
“We got to know so many friends there and the hospitality is first-rate. Anyone would be pleasantly surprised by the warmth of the people in the Middle East. It’s a shame that in many cases only the negative elements make it into our news radar. Maybe in some very small way, this collaboration between cultures can help our image to each other,” said Carter.
Manner said shopping mall development in the MENA region is a segment of the industry that offers design professionals unique opportunities. “Our team has a combined history with the mall marketing sector that extends back to the first US malls to be built and includes projects in developing markets in Japan, China, South East Asia, Middle and South America, Canada, Puerto Rico and Europe. We are closely tied into the ICSC- International Council of Shopping Centers- and MECSC- Middle east Council of Shopping Centers that serve and represent the MENA region,” he said.
Parker 3D is aware of potential projects in Saudi Arabia and Oman, and has visited Qatar as well. “We are committed to the region and motivated by the opportunities,” said Manner. He said interest in Parker 3D’s expansion plans in the region have also resulted in design conversations in Bahrain and recently Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Currently, it is working on projects in California, Virginia, San Juan, Miami, Houston, and Oklahoma City to name a few. “We are also building a multimedia TV snowflake for Sony world headquarters in New York City,” Carter said.