Commercial Interior Design - - Power List -


Five years af­ter leav­ing the vi­brant New York light­ing de­sign scene to es­tab­lish CD+M’s ded­i­cated hospi­tal­ity light­ing de­sign stu­dio in Dubai, Court­ney Mark has be­come one of the re­gion’s lead­ing light­ing de­sign­ers. She talks about her in­spir­ing jour­ney to the top. “Af­ter 10 years in New York City, I was posted to New Delhi for a two-year project and when I re­turned to the Big Ap­ple, I re­alised I had had enough of the win­ters. As things would have it, right at that mo­ment in my life, I was in­tro­duced to Ted Fer­reira, CD+M’s man­ag­ing part­ner in Los An­ge­les, who asked the ques­tion — ‘ever been to Dubai?’ — and the rest is his­tory.” Mark says she was drawn to CD+M’s cool South­ern Cal­i­for­nia-meet-se­ri­ous and ded­i­cated global de­sign prac­tice vibe, and ded­i­cated stu­dio men­tal­ity. “I stud­ied in­te­rior de­sign at the Pratt In­sti­tute’s ID pro­gramme in NYC and cut my teeth purely in hospi­tal­ity early in my ca­reer.”

Af­ter de­sign­ing for 38 ho­tels, 114 res­tau­rants and 42 bars, Mark has found her groove man­ag­ing a team of eight de­sign­ers work­ing purely in the area of hospi­tal­ity. “I’ve been for­tu­nate to have worked on a wide spec­trum of projects such as the new Chedi Re­sort in Ras Al Haad, Oman; The Anan­tara in Ras Al Khaimah; Th8 on the Palm Jumeirah, and the first Swarovski Ho­tel and Res­i­dences in Down­town Dubai.”

De­scrib­ing her­self as con­sci­en­tious, fas­tid­i­ous, and de­tail-ori­ented, Mark says she is a be­liever in what she calls “re­tained tribal knowl­edge” that she draws from. “Ev­ery­where I travel, and ev­ery­thing I see things that vis­ually work or in­spire me. I have the abil­ity to re­call and utilise these per­spec­tives on new projects, which keeps our work fresh with de­tails and cut­ting-edge tech­niques we know, work well.”

CD+M is a global light­ing de­sign prac­tice, and the only US firm in Dubai. Do you find that sur­pris­ing, and does that mean you are dif­fer­ent?

Sev­eral US firms have dab­bled in Dubai over the years but were not will­ing to com­mit. Af­ter five years here, I un­der­stand that it’s tough. We bring front-trend­ing US style and tech­niques to our work, which make our projects sub­tly fresh and dis­tinct. We spec­ify from the global prod­uct mar­ket. If you’re a Euro­pean de­signer, you know the EU brands and con­versely, if you’re an Amer­i­can de­signer, you’ll likely work with Amer­i­can brands. We bring a global bas­ket of prod­ucts to our projects in­clud­ing many Asian brands.

Af­ter five years, what can we ex­pect in the years ahead?

We’re in­cred­i­bly busy at the mo­ment, and I love what I’m do­ing, so I’m in it for the long haul in Dubai, per­son­ally.

Pro­fes­sion­ally, I’ve learnt to bal­ance vol­ume with de­liv­er­ing a stel­lar prod­uct, which I’m in­cred­i­bly proud of. Our vi­su­als — through which we con­vey de­sign in­tent, doc­u­men­ta­tion, at­ten­tion to de­tail, com­pre­hen­sive draw­ing pack­ages, and equip­ment spec­i­fi­ca­tions — are world class.

Most im­por­tantly, we work hard at un­der­stand­ing and ex­e­cut­ing the vi­sion of the in­te­rior de­sign­ers and ar­chi­tects we work with. We be­lieve that light­ing fol­lows in­te­rior de­sign and ar­chi­tec­ture, al­ways.

+971 4 551 8458 www.cdm­

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