Nike Air Max Day 2023

Dubai and Belgrade

Interactive technology | Custom audio system | Real time graphic generation | UX | Systems integration


Following a series of successful collaborations in Dubai and Qatar, including Air Max Day 2022, HATTER and WeMake once again approached FIX8Group ahead of Nike Air Max Day 2023, this time to assist in bringing to life two installations in both the Nike flagship store in Dubai and a sister event in a central Belgrade event space.

The challenge

For the direction of the 2023 project, Nike wanted to build upon their concept of the music integration first seen in Air Max Day 22. Taking that theme to a new level this year with a creative installation that would ultimately tie into their takeover of the Burj Khalifa with a light and audio show for Air Max Day.

HATTER were given the challenge to not only allow users to create their own bespoke music track to download but to include a set of accompanying visuals created from, and intrinsically linked to, the music.

As seen in previous projects, it was again a very short lead time with only 5 weeks to Air Max Day from briefing. This time however there was the additional challenge of a project that needed to work in two very different locations, one-state-of-the art retail space, one historic eastern European opera house.

The solution

Once again, we had to completely transform the event space available within the Dubai store and design something that would translate to a very different environment in Belgrade. A cornerstone of the HATTER concept was the idea of an environment reacting to the sounds being created within it.  

Local DJs and producers were commissioned by Nike to create music stems which visitors would then be able to use to produce their own original compositions. The brief was to create a throwback, Y2K aesthetic, and ensure the environment was in keeping with creative style of the wider Nike global campaign.  

To achieve this, we created a landscape of Hi-resolution LED columns to display real-time generative graphics, instantly reflecting the different elements of music choices of visitors. Complimenting this were multiple Astera fixtures including Titan Tubes and Hydra Panels. The focal point was the columns, but the darkened space with gloss black wall containing all the reactive, real time elements helped create an enveloping environment, drawing the users into the world of the music they were creating. The control interface for the customers visiting the experience was a bespoke designed ‘DJ’ console with reactive colour changing and animated custom cast silicone buttons to act as selector pads.

Once more, Notch and Touch Designer were employed in conjunction with our own show control software written specifically for this activation.

Although the Dubai installation was open and live earlier than Belgrade, it needed to be active in both locations simultaneously for a time, this presented its own challenges in terms of logistics and the duplication of all systems in 2 very different environments. This was combined with the additional specification that the Belgrade set would be customer facing during the day but transformed into gig venue with visuals used for live DJ performances in the evenings.

As with previous projects, Nike wanted visitors to be able to take away a souvenir from the experience. In this case, users could print a card with a QR code which would allow them to instantly download the track they had created, both separately and embedded with a video recorded from their own generated visuals from the environment, which could then be shared on social platforms.

The generative graphics created for the project’s LED columns were also used as the inspiration for further design elements throughout the store and for Nike’s takeover of the Burj Khalifa on Air Max day itself on the 26th of March.

This was another truly international collaboration with our partners at Modeon in Poland helping with graphics and system parts sourced from both Dubai and the UK.


In the end, the installation proved to be extremely popular with over 2000 visitors going through the Dubai activation, whilst the Belgrade location was accompanied by 2 nights of performances by well-known Serbian DJs.

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Ben Hyman, Senior Project Manager

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Images courtesy of Nike & HATTER

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