Novitá and Maiarelli Studio Highlight the Power of Books at DIFFA’s Annual DINING BY DESIGN

By Katie Suh

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DIFFA’s signature event DINING BY DESIGN was held again this month at New York’s Pier 92 and was as bold as ever. DINING BY DESIGN is DIFFA’s annual 5 day showcase that invites designers to transform a space into a spectacular dining environment to raise awareness and grant funds to organizations that provide treatment, direct care services, preventive education programs and advocacy for individuals impacted by HIV/AIDS. With more than 12,000 attendees who work in the field of architecture, interior design, and luxury home retail, the signature event is one of the most anticipated in the season. Out of the many exhibitors, we wanted to spotlight a collaboration we did with Maiarelli Studio.

For the second time, we partnered with Maiarelli Studio to create an installation for DINING BY DESIGN. This year’s theme for the table was empathy: a topic that seems even more relevant in today’s more and more globally connected world. The installation aims to highlight the importance of reading in developing an important life-skill: empathy. In this quickly ever- evolving society, we sometimes overlook the importance of reading as we always set it aside for when we have more “free time” but books are in fact powerful tools that may help us develop the necessary skills to connect and interact with others and successfully navigate our way through this busy world.

The installation featured a table floating atop large stacks of books with eight books covering the topic of AIDS at each of the place settings around the table. From poetry to non-fiction, the books on the table cover topics that bring the reader closer to the issue of AIDS and the lives of those affected by it. Creative Director and Founder of Maiarelli Studio, Giona Maiarelli says, “Books allow us to see the world through the eyes of others and respond with empathy for those different from ourselves. They bring us into the shows of those who may at first seem dissimilar to us, and ultimately draw out our similarities. When information is consumed at lightning speed, and hate spreads faster than truth, we reaffirm the power of books.”

By enlightening our minds and widening our perspectives through the act of reading books, we can become part of a society that is more knowledgeable and more empathetic. According to DIFFA, “Combating misinformation, ignorance, and prejudice is a vital element in the fight against HIV/AIDS and DIFFA is committed to continuing its support for this important work. By combining talent, creative marketing strategies, and a national network, DIFFA has found a way to leverage the resources of the design community to improve the lives of thousands of people impacted by HIV/ AIDS.”

Keep reading and expanding your horizons!

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