Tuesday, March 27, 2012

DIFFA Dining By Design 2012

My goodness. I'm so excited to be back from NYC... and probably one of the best design trips of my life! I have so much to tell you. As you may know I have been working as a designer at - HBA Design on an ultra special project involving one of my very favorite designers and colleagues in Los Angeles- Kelly Sutton , our design prowess, lots of our free time, and even my art! You might remember her feature on my art work Jessica Rae Sommer- Lovely or Ugly? which was an amazing peek into my art, what got me started and what inspires me to keep painting. 

Kelly and I were so excited when we were teamed up to design an exhibit space for DIFFA'S Dining By Design in New York City. DIFFA's Dining by Design raises money for aids awareness, research, and education all over the country each year- with it's New York being jewel of an event- held at Pier 39 in collaboration with Architectural Digests Home Design Show

As soon as we began work on the project, we were so excited by our passion for the cause- finding a way to communicate our admiration and understanding for thriving in the midst of change and adversity. We sought to create an atmosphere of hope and transformation beyond ourselves. So began the concept of "The Raven" based on A Brothers Grimm fairy tale that captured the dark fantasy, crystalized imagination, and hopeful ending that field our design- our tag line for the booth became the meaningful "Set Me Free." 

Here is just a sneak peek at some of our design work, as well as HBA's press release, so you can learn a little more about our design!



(It started with a collection of images that visualized the story for us. We love anything high fashion, avant guard, mysterious, elegant!)



From the HBA Design Press Release:
HBA Designs a Journey of Optimism and Creative Liberation at DIFFA’s Dining By Design

Taking Inspiration from The Raven, the Leading Design Firm Creates a Dramatic and Innovative Tablescape that will be Showcased March 22 - 26

New York, NY – HBA / Hirsch Bedner Associates is set to unveil their first ever design installation at DIFFA’s 2012 Dining by Design. DIFFA is known for bringing together some of the most talented and celebrated individuals in the worlds of fashion, interior design, art and architecture to create awe-inspiring dining environments and raise money for HIV/AIDS service and education programs in the United States. Leading the hospitality interior design industry since 1965, HBA is proud to participate in this year’s events and showcase a unique design installation that is inspired by the Brothers Grimm story, The Raven.

HBA’s designers Kelly Sutton, Jessica Rae Sommer and Kathleen Dauber have worked tirelessly to create a design concept based on The Raven that embodies all of the depth, enchantment and anticipation of thriving in the midst of change and adversity. In this dark children’s fairytale, a young princess is trapped. Transformed into a raven, her only hope is in waiting for the prince that will one day set her free.





































(We began to research high fashion textures and materials, and how that could translate the depth and otherworldly glamour into our space. 
Four words came to mind... black lacquer gold and crystal! )


Through a myriad of design elements presented throughout the installation, HBA communicates their understanding of how a persons current state, situation, or place so often appears dark, leaving onelost in a storythat does not feel their own. In their design, HBA seeks to visually express the greater hope and transformation that exists within us all.


Through luxurious surfaces, textures, reflection and exaggerated proportions, HBA with the help of vendors, created the illusion of another world where each visitor can be wrapped in the story. The encompassing structure, featuring an undulating herringbone pattern, structural cutouts and a glossy surface create a puzzle-like jewel box that forms this altered reality. 


“Now you have set me free.” 
The wild, fantastic journey and optimism of The Raven speaks to the passion HBA has for design and in supporting DIFFAs great cause.

(Next came space planning, a little creative sketching, and looking at how we could tell the story throughout the space )







(The words of the story spill into the space, and scroll across a custom rug beautifully manufactured by Zenith Rugs . Teaming with Swarovski Crystal (YES AMAZING) literally encrusts the space in a crystalized enchantment, custom designed furniture crafted for us by Beverly Furniture continues to address every detail.... )




























(Every detail was considered, as we layered, scripted, and custom designed fabric for the shield chairs surrounding the table. My artwork makes a special appearance on the fronts of the chairs... showing the princess from "The Raven" as she transforms into the raven! )






















Can't wait to see more? Keep tuned or jump over to YB&D Kelly Sutton's fantastic blog for more insight and fun on our space. In the meantime, here's a final peek at our Instagram feed (everyone loves instagram right?) that kept us going through the week....

Oh my word... that is us and Thom Filicia (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy anyone?!) who gave us some personal compliments on our space! We nearly died. How fortunate we were to be surrounded by such incredible design talent.

Kelly (right) and I (on the left) accidentally (or not ) showed up to cocktails sparkling like our space!

A glimpse at my Ladies making their NYC debut! Dying again. 

Finally... da da daaaaaa... a snap of our space (please ignore my jittery with excitement iPhone camera snap)


More where that came from... I haven't even begun to tell you about how we filled our table with enough glittering crystals to last a lifetime, how we came up with our herringbone gloss/non-gloss structure (special thanks to Geoff Howel Studios). 

Love to hear your thoughts! Tell me everything....


2 comments:

Boo Hazard said...

WOW, I love your table!!! Stunning!! So, did you paint fabric for the chairs? So cool! You're and amazing artist. And I love the gloss/flat herringbone wall treatment. We just finished a tablescape here in New Orleans for an event too - a little different than yours but still dramatic we think! -http://shaunsmithhome.blogspot.com/2012/03/art-in-bloom-recap-our-table.html
-Boo

christine {bijouandboheme} said...

DYING. DEAD...oh my goodness Jessica...I am SO incredibly proud of you/inspired/in awe. You are an amazing talent and I couldn't be happier for you- this is beyond gorgeous my friend.

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