Events, Press Releases

SOM Creates Shimmering Installation for DIFFA's Dining by Design Fundraising Event

New York, NY:  Skidmore, Owings & Merrill has designed a stunning dining environment for the annual DINING BY DESIGN fundraiser presented by DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS). SOM’s installation is one of more than 36 tabletops on display by internationally celebrated designers including Calvin Klein Home, Barney’s New York, Knoll, Herman Miller, and Ralph Lauren Home.

A series of events including a preview party, gala dinner, and public viewing will take place from March 20–March 24 to showcase the installations on view at Pier 94 in New York City. Proceeds from DINING BY DESIGN benefit DIFFA and support organizations working on prevention, treatment, and education in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Designers have created imaginative and striking dining environments for the annual event since it began in 1984.

This year, SOM’s installation is a study in contrast. The design begins with a pure geometric form—the cube—and subtracts surfaces, leaving behind an exterior shell that creates a sense of enclosure within the larger exhibition space. Like a geode, the austere and matte surfaces of the installation’s exterior reveal a dazzling, rich, and reflective inner core, presented in a duo-chromatic composition of black and copper.

SOM has created dining installations for DIFFA since 2004, under the leadership of Interior Design Partner Stephen Apking. DINING BY DESIGN is an annual opportunity for the firm to explore unconventional design and fabrication processes.

To learn more about the event, please visit DIFFA’s DINING BY DESIGN page.


Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS raises and grants funds to organizations that fight HIV/AIDS by providing treatment and direct care services for people living with or impacted by the disease, offering preventative education programs targeted to populations at risk of infection, or supporting public policy initiatives. In 2014, DIFFA celebrates its 30th year as one of the largest funders of HIV/AIDS service and education programs in the United States, mobilizing the immense resources and creativity of the design community. Since its founding, DIFFA has emerged from a grassroots organization into a national foundation based in New York City with chapters and community partners across the country that, working together, have provided over $40 million to hundreds of HIV/AIDS organizations nationwide.

About Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) is one of the leading architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban-planning firms in the world, with a 75-year reputation for design excellence and a portfolio that includes some of the most important architectural accomplishments of the 20th and 21st centuries. Since its inception, SOM has been a leader in the research and development of specialized technologies, new processes and innovative ideas, many of which have had a palpable and lasting impact on the design profession and the physical environment. The firm's longstanding leadership in design and building technology has been honored with more than 1,700 awards for quality, innovation, and management. The American Institute of Architects has recognized SOM twice with its highest honor, the Architecture Firm Award-in 1962 and again in 1996. The firm maintains offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Abu Dhabi.