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    Fighting AIDS With Art

    Last Thursday night the new 12th floor Interface showroom in New York was abuzz with over 400 members of the A&D community. This was Idea Lab 2012: Carpet Art Benefit, a collaborative effort by Interior Design and Interface to support DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS. Interior Design editor in chief Cindy Allen, who is chairman of DIFFA and the mastermind behind Carpet Art, invited select designers and artists to design pieces using Interface carpet tiles and other raw materials from an “idea box.” The completed projects were assembled for a silent auction, numbering a total of 33 works and including everything from sculptures, drawings, photographs, books, lamps, and chairs.

    As guests hovered around their favorite items, the buzz circulated around several projects. Shimoda Design Group’s orange and magenta “Octavio Di Martini” octopus wall piece and Crème Design’s “The Flowery Night” child’s play dome were especially admired. Jun Aizaki, founder of Crème Design, spoke about the inspiration behind the design, saying, “The flower motif developed organically after we started working with the materials and it just started happening. Originally, we wanted to make it 8 feet wide—we were crazy! We scaled it down, of course.” The dome of sculpted carpet tiles and steel was a sight to behold, taking center stage at the showroom.

    Other pieces tended toward functionality, such as Studio O+A’s “Valentine Boxed.” With the ability to morph into a console or cocktail table, the carpet and plexiglass cube was practical yet playful. Verda Alexander, principal of O+A said, “I saw this pattern, Valentine, and I knew that was it. The cube itself is shiny and perfect, while the pattern is slightly different on each side, so it's a juxtaposition.”

    At the end of the night, nearly $16,000 was raised for DIFFA, with the remaining unsold pieces to be auctioned off at a later date.