By Lauren Matthews Posted March 27, 2012, 6:31 PM EDT
NEW YORK Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS returned to Pier 94 this year to host its annual Dining by Design benefit, showcasing 43 installations created by architects, artists, design students, and fashion, interior, and event designers. Diffa's five-day event, which ran alongside the Architectural Digest Home Design Show, kicked off with a cocktail party on March 22, followed by three days of public viewing, and ending with a gala dinner and silent auction on March 26.
This year, one of the most prominent trends was the lack of floral centerpieces (and in some cases, no centerpieces at all). Instead of flowers and greenery, designers made objects like vases, books, wine bottles, and elaborate chandeliers the focus of the settings. And apart from a few installations that employed vibrant patterned fabrics, many of the tables took a conservative turn when it came to color, opting for a palette of subdued, neutral tones. Finally, several designers took inspiration from the home, creating tables with homey, residential styles. Here’s a look at the most inspiring ideas and trends on display.