DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS) once again brought together a talented group of designers highlighting the hottest new trends to help in the fight against HIV/AIDS at its 18th annual DINING BY DESIGN (DBD) event. This year’s edition in March was a record-breaking one, as participation in the exhibit grew so rapidly that it expanded into 30,000 square feet at Pier 92, co-located with the Architectural Digest Home Design Show at Pier 94. As is the case each year, the two shows offered a double-dose of design as one ticket offered access to both events. DIFFA grew out of a group of concerned individuals within the design community that gathered April 25, 1984, at textile designer Pat Green’s office at Groundworks in New York City.
They were drawn together by a compelling need to help those in their industry who had contracted this strange new illness that was killing them. The nascent group was plagued by the stigma and prejudice surrounding even the very mention of this illness that would shortly become known as HIV/AIDS. As the scope of AIDS grew so did DIFFA, expanding its original base nationally into a network of chapters and community partners throughout the country. Local involvement brought an invaluable grassroots element to the work of the Foundation, ensuring that resources were properly directed to where they were most critically needed with minimal bureaucracy, and delivered the Foundation a massive volunteer network.
The success of DIFFA’s fundraising is the result of the imagination and generosity of the design industries and the volunteers who support it. DIFFA is one of the largest funders of HIV/AIDS service and education organizations in the U.S. Since its founding in 1984, DIFFA has mobilized the immense resources of the design community to provide more than $38 million nationwide. www.diffa.org.