DIFFA Dining By Design

NYSID made a big splash at this year’s DIFFA Dining By Design, an annual event where designers, brands, and other local talent create dining environments to raise funds for HIV/AIDS. NYSID’s student installation was named Top Pick 2015 by the ASID NY Metro Chapter, singled out amongst more than 40 other tablescapes!

The student team included BFA students Emma Sawrey, Alexandra N. Sobolewski, Zhaoxu Vince Tong, and Sun Woong Youm, shown here with NYSID faculty member Rene Estacio (center), who led the student team with Brad Ford serving as a mentor. This is the seventh consecutive year NYSID has participated in the event. Watch an amazing video of our students at work on their Dining by Design‬ installation! 

Students from other top New York City design schools were also invited to participate in the show —including the Fashion Institute of Technology, Parsons, NYU, and School of Visual Arts. The goal of the program is to give the next generation of designers the opportunity to work with some of the best design veterans in the business and participate in one of the industry’s keynote events.

This year's installation was entitled "Form Follows Purpose," an exercise in streamlined minimalism, expressed through the curved vertical elements of the walls, furniture, a spherical chandelier, and the non-traditional table setting that was inspired by a Japanese Bento Box . The goal was to use form to create a welcoming environment of comfort and understanding in support of those suffering from HIV and AIDS. 

We recently sat down with Rene Estacio to talk about the project:

In your opinion what was the most challenging aspect of the project and how did the team overcome it?
The budget is always the most challenging aspect of any project. Each school is given $2,500.00 to create a room with walls, furniture, and accessories. By being creative, the team was able to stay within budget and even have some left over!

What was your experience like advising the students?
Teamwork is something that is learned. As the team's advisor, I guide them through the design process and also help them focus on the goals of the project.

What advice would you give to this year's team, all of whom are graduating this May?
I am proud of all the students I have guided all these years through this project. One piece of advice I would give the current team is to learn from this experience. It is a learning process that not all are able to experience while still in school. 

 Congrats to the team and to Dining by Design for another successful year!

Phyllis Greer