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Students Design for Elle Décor's Dining by Design Gala in the Fight Against AIDS

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Interior Architecture & Design students' table: Hope Springs Eternal Last November, Emily Uridel, Monty Parsons, Nizar Haddad, and Richelle Nolan from the School of Interior Architecture and Design contributed their artistic vision and inspiring designs to Elle Décor's Dining by Design event sponsored by GE in San Francisco, Ca.
The Dining by Design event is a table-top design extravaganza that creates a unique dining and art experience for gala attendees. In its tenth year, the event has grown into a lavish affair, fit for the stars and commanding the presence of top fashion designers, fine artists, architects, and design students in the battle against HIV/AIDS. Design teams work with an 11' x 11' space, a round table, and ten chairs. After that, the possibilities are endless and designers dive in with passion to showcase their talent to raise money for HIV/AIDS programs, preventative treatment, and public policy initiatives.
The Academy's art installation "Hope Springs Eternal" was a gala favorite amongst guests, drawing people in with a crowd around the table to observe the stunningly crisp white design of a white tile floor, a white hand-made chandelier with flickering candles, and dozens of mason jars filled with everyday white objects. Their theme of light, clarity, purity, and hope symbolized the fight against HIV/AIDS. "We strove to create something beautiful and thought provoking all at once," says Emily Uridel, Interior Architecture and Design student. The evocative design caused guests to ponder each object in the jars filled with cotton balls, q-tips, milk, salt, and underwear-objects that people use daily which represents the universality of HIV/AIDS and how we are all touched by the epidemic everyday.
The popularity of "Hope Springs Eternal" was so infectious that the students have been invited to travel with their installation to participate in Elle Décor's Dining by Design Event in New York. Dubbed as the "Cannes of table-top design," by Avant Garde filmmaker John Waters, the New York event is eagerly anticipated every year and attracts some of the most celebrated fashion and art designers in the industry.
Students at the Academy of Art University are continually recognized for their contributions to the arts and to charitable causes, and Elle Décor's Dining by Design is an exemplary case in the fusion of art, design and fundraising for a serious cause. When asked if she would design for the event again, Richelle Nolan's enthusiastic response of, "Absolutely! It was one of my most amazing design experiences," was explanation enough.

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