Dining by Design Detroit, MI

This post is long overdue…

About two months ago, my mom called me with about 10 ideas to list off at random. This is not a strange thing really for her, or me. So I listened and silently nodded while she told me about all the upcoming volunteer projects in her interior design world.

My mom is an interior designer, have I mentioned that? I’m sure I have on here before. She is the most creative person I know. She taught me creativity and a serious appreciation for art. She would also like me to note that interior design is NOT decorating. Anyone can decorate, designers are certified, they know construction, electrical, building codes and the use of AutoCad. They are professionals. I understand her frustration, as a photographer we are always trying to gain respect in our field. Education and experience trump every time. Its important to recognize the specified skills of your craft.

Anyway, my mom called me to tell me about her latest project with the Interior Designs Coalition for Change (IDCFC). The IDCFC provides interior design services to nonprofits within the community of Metro Detroit. They also work with young people about the possibilities of career in the interior design.

She was so excited about their current event, Dining by Design. Every year, DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids) presents Dining by Design in different cities all over the US. This is the first year Detroit was chosen to participate, and I couldn’t be more proud. My mom’s group IDCFC is designing a table scape for the event. All the proceeds go to the Michigan AIDS Collation.

Each group gets to create a dinner table vignette for the who’s who of Detroit to dine at. I had to privilege of photographing their creative construction process from start to finish.

The creative process is not always an easy one. Sometimes it’s frustrating. It’s a battle between vision and reality. I really just like the emotional aspect behind it. Of course, it’s all worth it in the end. Here is a short video of the team putting it all together.


Here is an overview of the event, including the beautiful IDCFC’s vignette.

It all started with this idea…

As ideas change, they evolve. Here is the finished product.

And all the details. My favorite part.

There were so many other great vignettes, I couldn’t help but capture the all.

Leon and Lulu’s vignette, one of my faves.

Love the cup and spoon chandelier.

Lovely dining vignette by Haworth designed by Meredith Vyn.

Love this typography display by The Park Group.

The place settings are sharpies and x-acto knives. Reminds me of my senior thesis! Ah, college art projects.

And last but not least, Hour Detroit’s beautiful vignette. I love the use of old covers and newspaper place mats.

For more images, and other designer vignettes, please go here and view the sideshow. And see the spotlight newsletter from the Michigan Design Center, click here.

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