To celebrate IA Interior Architects‘ 30th anniversary, the New York office participated in DIFFA’s Dining by Design, held in conjunction with the Architectural Digest Home Show each spring in New York. For the last 30 years, DIFFA, or the Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids, has paired designers and regional talent to design three dimensional dining installations that demonstrate the creativity, generosity, and solidarity of the design community. With twin milestones to honor, a celebratory theme was a fitting design concept. “Our design concept was around a birthday party, and we all agreed on the idea of a gift box to enhance the celebratory theme,” says John Capobianco, design director at IA in New York. Bolstered by the support of sponsors Teknion Studio and Teknion Textiles—which celebrates its 1st anniversary in 2014—the design team designed a partially enclosed dining space punctuated by Teknion’s sophisticated finishes and furnishings.
To realize the booth’s structure, IA turned to Apogee, a local design/build construction firm that specializes in hospitality and retail installations. Working with a team accustomed to an aggressive delivery timeline that was willing to be involved early in the design planning process was paramount to the process, attests Tamarra Wickes, senior designer at IA. “The Apogee team was professional and dedicated,” Wickes says. “They treated this smaller, charity project with the same attention they do a large-scale, permanent installation.” The 11- by 20- by 9-foot booth was constructed from plywood and gypsum board, and painted a vibrant red. A “ribbon” of Point Emboss upholstery from Teknion Textiles envelopes a total of six planes, running from the outside of the box through the interior and across the tabletop, like a piece of gift wrapping. A counter-height table introduces a sense of drama to the dining area and enhances linear definition. It also highlights Teknion Studio’s collaboration with B&B Italia’s Project collection. The Iuta stools were custom-upholstered in Point Emboss for a continuous appearance. “We chose DIFFA as the first official New York sponsorship for our newly launched Teknion Textiles and Teknion Studio brands,” explains Eric Stroud, New York manager at Teknion. “We knew that this opportunity would show the product at its best and most surprising: We loved having a formal dining table at counter height, and using stools as seats. It was a fresh and different way to look at dining!”
The tabletop, bedecked in custom linens and tableware from Alessi, was illuminated by Allegro pendants from Foscarini. “What better way for IA and DIFFA to celebrate 30 years than a best in class collaboration for Dining by Design?” said Cindy Allen, chairman of DIFFA and editor-in-chief of Interior Design. “Our good friends at IA and Teknion created a jewel of a gift box for the event, and a gift of generosity for those living with, and impacted by, HIV and AIDS.”