Bringing Vibrancy to Casablanca's Morocco Mall
I’ve intentionally worked international assignments into my career, not just for the travel, but for the education and life experience that working abroad can bring. China was my first extended international experience and I was unprepared for the impact it would have on me personally and on my design and art practices. Later years working on projects in Europe made a specific impact. The Middle East shook my perceptions of the area and changed me as well. Naturally, the desire to keep exploring and reaching for the impact travel offers was strong. Africa had to happen, I was just waiting for the right time.
I’m kind of a nerd when it comes to new big construction projects across the globe. I received early word that Morocco would be building the first modern shopping and entertainment complex in Casablanca. For clarity, they named it Morocco Mall – simple. When I was invited to consider their grand opening, I knew the time for my African experience had finally come. Clients in Istanbul invited us to partner on the project and plan the installation. We carefully considered the space and how to add vibrancy while accenting the new architecture.
The design solution: a series of forced air sculptures that were internally lit. They reflected off the giant aquarium and added theatrical interest for the performances below.
A property of this nature in an area of the world like this is far more valuable than what we Westerners know as “a mall.” These buildings are truly community centers where entire families visit, dine, are entertained and have access to the best of retail. They change a city. They connect communities. They attract tourists. It was a dream come true to finally apply our creative placemaking efforts for families in this part of the world.
POST WRITTEN BY ED MANNER • MAY, 2013