City of Doral and Eastern Engineering Group – Art in Public Places

Walking through the tropical mural paintings of City Place, while on your way to Kuba Cabana for dinner, you will find yourself in the middle of the enchanting atmosphere that has been flourishing in Doral ✨. The City of Doral was established in 2003 and has significantly grown since then. According to The Miami Herald, the rising city has become a hot-spot for international buyers, big businesses and real estate developers. If you work or live in the area, this will not come as a surprise. Undoubtedly, you have witnessed the endless amount of new businesses, buildings and social settings that have sprouted around town.

The article titled  “Why is Everyone Moving to Doral?” states that the city’s population rose by nearly 12,000 people in six years. This made Doral the fastest growing city in Florida☀️and the 11th fastest in the country. Crazy, right? However, when it comes to having a touristic impact, it does not rank high when compared to places like Wynwood or Miami Beach. The reason behind this could be the fact that the city is relatively young. But even though this is true, Doral has all the potential of becoming a prime bucket list destination. Currently, City Place Doral is charming people all over the county with its beautiful painted walls that are displayed around the plaza, which have become elements everyone constantly wants to engage with. Don’t believe me? Check Instagram 😎.

With that said, Eastern Engineering Group believes that bringing more art into the city could create a vibrant energy that will attract more people and boost tourism by enhancing quality of experience to show everything this amazing city has to offer. Consequently, increasing public art will be influenced by three different factors: structural engineering, cultural symbolism, and funding.

Quality of Experience

Lately, traveling has become more than an escape from our routines, and it has rather grown as a way of humanizing with the world. Learning about different cultures through their eyes allows us to open our minds a little easier and gives us a deeper understanding of their values 🌎. As cultural globalization increases as a way to extend social relations, the idea of adding quality of experience to a specific place has grown stronger. Like we have all experienced, locations that give us enjoyable memories are the ones we feel the most connected to. In fact, studies have shown that the events we most vividly remember are those that have given us thrilling emotions.

Usually cities become memorable when they have a unique way of telling their story. With this in mind, we live our own version of these stories through the ways that we engage with their structural icons. Classic symbols like the Statue of Liberty and the Cloud Gate provide an involvement that becomes exciting for locals and tourists. Hence, why we believe public art can contribute to the culture and public engagement of the City of Doral. Since this will mean that sculptures and installations will remain outdoors, structural engineering plays an important role in this initiative.

Structural Engineering Design

Whenever you think about the word “design,” you often relate it to something creative or artistic. So right about now you might be questioning, what does this have to do with engineering? I think most of us can agree on the fact that architects are artists. But did you ever realize structural engineers are artists as well? Think about it this way, creative expression is all about a sense of freedom and individuality that makes something unique. However, when it comes to structures meant to operate within a society, individuality becomes secondary. This is where our team of structural engineers here at Eastern Engineering Group have to step in.

Why ?

Structural Engineering determines how loads and other external effects can compromise physical structures and their components. What does this mean? A structural load is any action that could lead to the deformation of a component; and external effects are anything beyond our control. For example, temperature changes could damage a structure or make it risky for society. To get to the point, we live in Florida 🌴. Hurricanes are a part of the essence of our beloved state. Therefore, Structural Engineering is the art of analyzing and calculating designs for structures to SAFELY fulfill their intended purpose. 😉

Architects and engineers work hand-in-hand to complete construction projects that can function within society. Therefore, the same concept will apply to artists when they create an art piece that will remain outdoors. I mean, think about it. The city cannot afford the liability of having a sculpture fly off in the case of a hurricane. That would be scary, right? Now, I know I emphasize on hurricanes, but don’t let this confuse you. These dramatic storms compose a small percentage of all the different conditions that can affect a structure. To learn more about structural calculations and the way they are performed, refer to our article Structural Design and Structural Analysis.

Eastern Engineering Group’s Public Art Incentive

Eastern Engineering Group was founded in 2005, therefore our company grew alongside the city and we take pride in knowing that we have participated in its development. Doral has a special place in our hearts, and we want to see it grow to its full potential. Being that we consider ourselves advocates of art, we want to encourage more artistic installations to be incorporated. To show our enthusiasm for this cause, we will offer FREE structural consultations to anyone who wishes to install their sculptures in Doral to enhance its culture. To learn more about this incentive, please watch the video below.

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Cultural Symbolism

Public art is a tool that contributes to the uniqueness and attractiveness of a city. However, as we mentioned before, these installations will become part of the story and culture the city will display.  For this reason, it is important that the art that is chosen to “decorate” Doral is adequately evaluated to evade misinterpretation, since this may affect its reputation. Accordingly, in 2016 Major JC Bermudez approved the motion of the concept of DORCAM (Doral Contemporary Art Museum), a non-profit organization founded by collectors, artists, community leaders, among others, as a space for debate, critical thinking, and local-international dialogue. DORCAM has successfully increased artistic awareness within the Doral community, and they have created a yearly event in the heart of Downtown Doral, where they activate an entire block with artworks. We personally went to the event last year, and it was beyond mind-blowing.

In 2019, DORCAM’s Deputy Director Christopher R. Barake joined the City of Doral Advisory Board of Art in Public Places to represent the museum. Christopher is the Coordinator of Academic Support Services for the Department of Art + Art History in the College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts at Florida International University. Additionally, he is also a curator at KER Gallery Art Projects and ConcreteSpace. Pretty awesome, huh? 😎 Christopher in addition to the team that incorporates DORCAM will participate in the artistic decisions of the city. This being said, the cultural symbolism of potential art in the city is going to be in good hands. 😉

Artistic Funding

Last but not least, artistic funding will be a relevant factor when increasing public art in Doral. We cannot expect artists to donate their work, duh ! 💁 To address this factor, the Miami-Dade County: Art in Public Places program was developed to enrich the public environment and enhance the artistic pride of Miami-Dade. The initiative consists of the allocation of 1.5% of new construction cost for the purchase or commission of artwork. Cool, right ?

Places like Miami International Airport, Miami Zoo, Royal Caribbean Cruise Terminal, among others, are examples of some of the construction projects that have incorporated beautiful art pieces into their structures.  Click here to learn more about this awesome program that will bring us a step closer to building Doral’s artistic identity.

Building an Artistic Identity for the City of Doral

Internally for a city, advocates of art state that public art could be of great value in economic, social, environmental and psychological terms. If implemented correctly, it can develop a sense of community, sense of place and sense of civic identity. However, some may say these statements might not have enough data to back them up. But let’s be real. Regardless of the lack of hard evidence, the expression of art gives humans irreplaceable experiences. And these experiences are unique to each of us in ways we can’t even explain.

When an element produces any type of feeling within your soul, you are experiencing one of the abstract definitions of art. Whether a song gives you butterflies or a colorful painting entices you to think beyond the obvious. Art allows our brains to connect with our hearts. Whenever you go on a trip, you want to see with your own eyes the icons everyone always raves about. I can’t even begin to explain the feeling of euphoria I had when I saw the Eiffel Tower for the first time. Something about witnessing the power of human creation produces bliss and inspiration. In an era where social media rules our worlds, in our hearts we know pictures are nothing compared to the real experience.

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