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September 5, 2013
Dwell was proud to be the media sponsor for this year's 2nd Annual Picnic By Design. The charity event attracted over 200 talented designers and philanthropists, all there to support DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS. The rooftop of the iconic Scholastic building in Soho painted the perfect backdrop for the colorful soiree, which raised over $30,000 for the organization. A group of 45 A-list designers created one-of-a-kind basket settings for guests, including picnic chic creations from Eric Cohler, Tyler Wisler, Marie Aiello, Laura Anderson Barbata, Mike Perry, Jerry Schwartz, Robyn Lea, Toda, Mike Brown (LOT 71), and many more.

Picnic basket by Geppetto Studios.

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Cindy Allen, DIFFA Board Chair, and Johanna Osburn, DIFFA Executive Director, spoke to the crowd about HIV/AIDS and what DIFFA is doing to make a difference by funding organizations who provide prevention and education as well as direct care for those living with HIV/AIDS. Also attending were Dwell's Senior Editor Kelsey Keith, and DIFFA Trustees Marc Blackwell, Ilene Shaw, and Ed Wood.

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“Our vision was to create a fun summer event that exudes a casual elegance and celebrates design,” said committee member Yiannos Vrousgos of Input Creative Studio, (basket above) who helped design the vignettes. “We were aiming to target a younger demographic and it was important for us to keep ticket costs low and bring in new designers to DIFFA. In past events only interior designers and architects have participated—for the picnic, we invited fashion designers, graphic designers, costume designers, product designer, set designers, stylists and photographers to participate, bringing a whole new audience to the event!”

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About DIFFA

In 2014, DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS celebrates its 30th year as one of the largest funders of HIV/AIDS service and education programs in the United States. Since its founding, DIFFA has emerged from a grassroots organization into a national foundation with chapters in New York, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, and Kansas City and community partners such as the Michigan AIDS Coalition in Detroit that, working together, have provided over $40 million to hundreds of HIV/AIDS organizations nationwide. Mobilizing the vast resources of the design industries, DIFFA has supported a broad spectrum of programs over the years, from HIV/AIDS care and treatment to education and prevention.

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Basket design by MADS.

The Picnic By Design committee—who pulled together this amazing event—included Input Creative Studio, Clark Gaynor Interiors, Corse Design Factory and Becky Yee, Photographer. According to Dawn Roberson, Director of Special Events for DIFFA, “Because of the generosity of our sponsors, almost all proceeds went to DIFFA to support our work!”

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Basket design by Mike Perry Studio.

Picnic by Design event sponsors Included Starbucks, Lenovo, Robert Allen, Maya Romanoff and Dwell. Dwell's favorite caterer Canard Inc. donated all the food and service staff for the event. Patrón sponsored the cocktails, La Crema provided the wine and the beer was provided by Stone Brewing Co.

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geppetto studios

Picnic basket by Geppetto Studios.

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