The fourth annual Dinner by Design, presented by The Social Concierge, Cosentino Group and new title sponsor Kabuni, in partnership with IDSwest, is where Vancouver’s twin passions for fine dining and even finer design come together. Two tasteful and tasty nights will benefit Interior Design Program scholarships at the Visual College of Art and Design of Vancouver (VCAD).
Dinner by Design will offer over a dozen top-tier, west coast based interior designers — such as Karin Bohn, LAMP’s Nicole Fox and Stephanie Brown — free rein to create extraordinary tablescapes and dining rooms within a 12′ x 12′ space.
“Partnership with Dinner by Design creates a great opportunity for our students to experience working with professionals and put what they learn into practice with an understanding of the industry,” says VCAD Interior Design Advisor Rostina Abd Razak. “This experience will provide them the foundation to build upon their skill-set to become contributors in the interior design community.”
Dinner by Design and Mentoring
In keeping with the event’s mandate to foster the next generation of design stars, students of the benefiting VCAD Interior Design Program will be tasked with creating a bar and lounge under the mentorship of designers Jamie Banfield, Meaghan Jones of Sherwood Cabinetry and Monica Jeffers of Monica Jeffers Interior Design.
BLUSHVancouver had the opportunity to discuss with Monica the importance of mentoring at Dinner by Design.
How do find the experience of mentoring process in conjunction with such a high profile event?
This isn’t my first time acting as a student mentor, but it is the first time I’ve mentored for an event. I’d say it’s a bit of a balancing act. As a designer, I’m attaching my company/brand to the student’s installation, so it’s important that the style is somewhat reflective of my aesthetic. At the same time, it’s critical to take the students’ ideas into account and respect their creativity. There are times where I can let the students run free (for example, concept development) versus times when I need to take a stronger lead (budget concerns, feasibility of construction, project schedule, etc.). The end goal is to have the group’s top design ideas featured in a visually cohesive manner – achieving an installation that we can all be proud of.
Is there a theme to this years bar and lounge – that you can share?
This year there are 3 VCAD student group installations on the mezzanine level. The area assigned to my group is a rather blank canvas – floor and wall area without any tables or chairs. Given the site conditions and my specialty in commercial design, I went with a hospitality-themed concept: ‘Hotel Chic’. Because we are so dependent upon our generous product sponsors for this event, the concept needed to be open/flexible enough to work with materials available to us, yet focused enough to provide direction.
Why is it important to you to be involved with the mentorship of the VCAD students?
I believe mentorship of the next generation of designers is extremely important. When I was studying (many, many years ago), it felt like there was such a disconnect from the student world to reality. So much of what students design is theoretical.
Events like DinnerxDesign provide a real-life snapshot of what an actual design project entails. We have already encountered budget constraints, lead time and product availability issues, not to mention differing design opinions – all within the short timeframe leading up to the event. We’re still sorting out the final details on a couple of items, but the students are working very hard to make this installation a success. We hope you will all agree.
The collection of tablescapes and room sets and the student-designed lounge will serve as the backdrop for two magical, back-to-back evenings:
Cocktail Art, Vancouver’s largest and most stylish cocktail party for 850 guests (Thursday, September 15, 8pm to 2am)
On Thursday, September 15, Cocktail Art will bring together upwards of 850 guests for an extravagant showcase of Vancouver’s world-renowned cocktail culture. An all-star bar team will concoct a series of signature cocktails, each one conceived to push the limits of mixology. Canapés will be provided by an enviable roster of some of the city’s top restaurants and caterers.
Dinner by Design Gala Dinner, a multi-course dining experience served to 150 guests seated inside the Dinner by Design tablescapes (Friday, September 16, 6:30pm to 1am)
The Dinner by Design Gala Dinner beckons 150 guests to take their assigned seats at the designers’ tablescapes for a sumptuous, multi-course feast complete with wine and bubble pairings.
Those wishing to view the remarkable and unfettered creations of some of Canada’s top interior designers may also take part in the free, student-friendly public viewing on the afternoon of Friday, September 16 from 11am to 3pm. A suggested donation of $20 will benefit scholarships at the Visual College of Art and Design of Vancouver.
For ticket and event information, please visit www.dinnerxdesign.com