Former Wilson Associates Dubai team launch new studio

Following the closure of Wilson Associates, the management team from the Dubai office have partnered to launch a new interior design firm – Etherington, McLaughlin & Associates.

With its headquarters in Dubai Design District, EMA will continue to cater to large-scale luxury hospitality, extending their skills to F&B, wellness and commercial markets.

Founded by Tim Etherington and Iain McLaughlin, the studio will offer full-service interior design and FF&E services, with Wilson’s former design directors Maud Capet and Julie Djohan also confirmed to join the team.

“We stayed together because of the legacy we’ve built,” explains McLaughlin, a former operations director at Wilson. “Our objective remains the same. With a clear vision of strengthening and enhancing a team capable of designing and implementing luxurious projects, EMA’s emphasis is on creative excellence, documentation quality.”

Both McLaughlin and Etherington have extensive experience, having designed and managed a wide typology of projects for both small specialist boutique studios through to large global corporate organisations – from luxury yachts and hospitality to flagship retail stores, showrooms and brands. 

As former Managing Director of Wilson Associates Dubai and Gensler Shanghai offices, Etherington brings to the table nearly three decades of multidisciplinary design experience, spanning 15 distinct markets on five different continents. The launch of EMA will enable him to build on his expertise in both hospitality and commercial sectors.

“As a firm, we want to establish and maintain strong client relationships and deliver excellent creative solutions,” he comments. “The firm’s primary focus centres around creative innovation, talent development, maintaining and developing key client relationships and strategically positioning the business to support and optimise client’s position in their respective sectors.”

Etherington’s global portfolio features clients such as Coca Cola, Abu Dhabi International Airport and Virgin Casinos, as well as high-profile projects including the 121-storey, mixed-use Shanghai Tower and redesign of The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai’s lounge. 

“I have been fortunate to live and work around the world, which has developed into a robust understanding of global perspectives that I have consistently applied to the way I approach the business of design,” he continues. “My exposure to cultural diversity has given me an openness to change and a tolerance for ambiguity. These experiences have enabled me to interpret, develop and apply global design thinking in a relevant and contextual manner that I bring to EMA.