DIFFA Picnic by Design – Bountiful Baskets for a Cause
By Joseph Pastrana
The design community rallied ‘round the latest DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS Picnic By Design New York event to raise much needed funds in its ongoing efforts to generate awareness and grants to organizations that provide treatment, direct care services, preventive education programs and advocacy for individuals impacted by HIV/AIDS. The evening raised $50,000 from bids on custom styled picnic baskets celebrating food and travel especially created by some of the industry’s leading designers and creatives.
Michael Mitchell and Tyler Hill served up some Southern hospitality with the “Gypsy Spice” basket from their interior design and home décor firm Mitchell Hill – featuring Charleston flavors, plates, and organic throw pillow sourced from local artisans. Gensler, StudioTK, and LUUM Textiles collaborated on a mid century themed basket with square floor pillows, delectable jams and syrup. Tyler Wisler conceived a “DragCon” basket for World of Wonders that included VIP tickets to DragCon at the Javits Center. The Scott Brogan Group presented “Sakura in September” with a Douglas Fir picnic box lined with genuine obi material, sushi plates, chopsticks and tatami mat coasters from the firm’s work with designer Anthony Morris, Walter P. Sauer, and the Zipangu showroom. Other baskets were courtesy of Andrea Schumacher Interiors, Antoinette Loupé, Canard Inc, Dwell Studio, FXFOWLE, jesGORDON/properFUN x Dirt Cobain, Lladró, Matouk, Michele Alfano Design in partnership with Tiago Fonseco, NPZ Style & Décor, Stacy Garcia Inc., Sheila Bridges – Harlem Toile, Stillwell Events NYC with Elegant Affairs NYC, Ted Moudis Associates, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Vanessa Deleon Associates, Yetta Banks for Viacom, and Wills Design Associates.
Much has already been said on the devastation HIV/AIDS has wrought on the design community when the epidemic first emerged. But after antiretroviral drugs made living with HIV possible, part of the struggle is reminding people that this remains a destructive and serious health issue. Founded at the height of the crisis in 1984, DIFFA grew from a grassroots organization to among the most important charitable groups in the US today. Its annual end of summer Picnic By Design celebration brings together designers, manufacturers and artists in support of nonprofit organizations across the country combating HIV/AIDS.
Images courtesy of DIFFA Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS