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Interior Architecture and Design Students Dazzle at DINING BY DESIGN

Academy of Art University students created a stunning table for the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA) event, DINING BY DESIGN. Academy interior design students joined 50 other famous designers, all handpicked for the event, on November 13th at the Galleria in the San Francisco Design Center. This year marks the 10th anniversary of DINING BY DESIGN and it was definitely the best to date.

(L to R) back row: Eric Corey Freed (Principal, organicARCHITECT), Marlene Farrell (Director of School of Interior Arch & Design at AAU), Dr. Elisa Stephens (President, AAU). Center row: Jim Gillam (Principal, Backen Gillam Architects), Jean Larette (Principal, Jean Larette Design), Stefan Mühle  (General Manager of Orchard Garden Hotels, SF). Front row: Ed Conlon, Gioi Tran (Principal, Applegate Tran), Jean Hansen (Sustainable Interior Design Manager of HDR, Inc.), Dan Huntsman (Principal, Huntsman Architectural Group)

Donning Mardi Gras-style masks, the Academy’s guests dined on delectable cuisine while sipping superb libations. The elegant table was decorated in red and gold and set within an enclosure, making the evening a more intimate affair. The table was a marvelous showcase of the Academy Interior Design and Architecture students’ talents.

  (L to R):  Dan Huntsman, Jean Hansen, Gioi Tran

Guests at Academy of Art University’s table included celebrated Bay Area architects and designers who are supporters of the Interior Architecture and Design program. Some of these designers include Jean Larette (Principal, Jean Larette Design), Jean Hansen (Sustainable Interior Design Manager of HDR, Inc.), Gioi Tran (Principal, Applegate Tran), Stefan Muhle (General Manager of Orchard Garden Hotels).

DINING BY DESIGN, presented by Elle Décor and GE Monogram, is DIFFA’s signature fundraising event. To date, DINING BY DESIGN has raised more than $12 million to help fight the AIDS epidemic. The event is held in cities all over the U.S., giving various corporations and designers an exclusive opportunity to exhibit their talent.

DIFFA is one of the largest supporters of direct care for people living with HIV/AIDS and preventive education for those at risk. Supporters of DIFFA come from all areas of design and visual arts including: architecture, fashion design, interior design, photography and consumer product design.  DIFFA has granted over $35 million to hundreds of AIDS service organizations nationwide.

Academy of Art University is continually recognized for its contributions to charitable causes and the students were thrilled to participate in an event that combines compassion with creativity.

  (L to R: Stephanie Fluckey and Galina Sihota)

Their design impressed DINING BY DESIGN attendees so much that the table was selected by DIFFA to go on to their big New York event in January. The New York event, dubbed the “Cannes of table-top design,” by filmmaker John Waters, attracts some of the most famous artists and designers in the industry.


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