Zen Living Attends DIFFA in Chicago

It never fails to amaze me... where ever I go there is water. And fish. Am I drawn to it... or is in drawn to me by some collective energy that always seems to place me at the right place at the right time. I was honored to be invited to attend the DIFFA's Dining by Design event last week. DIFFA = Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids. A gala evening event at Chicago's Merchandise Mart. Shared with interior and fashion designers, architects, builders, engineers and artists all brought together for a larger vision... to raise funds for DIFFA's not for profit fundraising and grant making foundation for HIV/AIDS services to people who are affected with HIV positive or living with AIDS in the Chicagoland area. The dining tables were viewed by all of the attendees prior to the dinner being served, but I was in awe that we actually had our dinner at one of the designed tables! This was a first  for me, and having designed displays for Marshall Fields in my younger days ... I created artistic displays that should never be touched. Awww....  how the times have changed.. or maybe it was the ticket price of 500.00 a person, or the posh guests, or the fact that all the efforts were for a greater cause that it didn't matter if we drank and dined and laughed at these brilliantly designed tables.

Dining with ladies from the architect and construction industry, the Leopardo table had a neo classical simplicity that felt as if we were in another era. Minimalist in design...  and served with elegance that I could only be reminded of how wonderful, simple is.  A Zen living lifestyle can see the thread that connects ... and having dinner with such talent... in a room designed just for us, was incredible. The depth of creativity from the designers that created these dining environments showcased the very best of the best. Elements that were beyond extraordinary, placed and displayed in a rare style that gives a breathe of new design concepts into the Chicago market. All of this ingenuity, and all for a greater vision... to help those in need in Chicago.

Founded in 1984, DIFFA has granted more than $38 million to hundreds of community-based organizations. Founded by volunteers from the design industry,  supporters of DIFFA now come from every field associated with fine design. In the fight against this epidemic, DIFFA  also enjoys tremendous support from the business community.


Courtney Hartsock, an architectural specialist and I decided to embrace as many dining environments that we could. We met with the designers and the companies that sponsored these Dining tables ... each one should be applauded for their creativity and unique approach to making this a successful night.  Seeing the variety of styles and designs, I thought...  awwww Zen Living by design should have a dining table here. Who knows? Maybe next year we will! This is an amazing community of fine artists that through their creative forces are making a difference in the lives of those who need assistance. That is why we are here, to leave our imprint in every way we can. That my friends, is Zen Living. Until then... I will hang out by the water with my Talapia fish friends at my very favorite DIFFA table. Where are the Koi? I see Zen Living by design and the Koi Whisperer Sanctuary in 2013!!


Love & Light...



All photographs copyright 2012 M, MaryEllen Malinowski, Infrared Light International for Zen Living by design.

My love & thanks to Lindsay Hartsock, Architectural Specialist at Corporate Concepts | Architectural Solutions and Nicole Bobula, Director of Business Development, Leopardo Companies for inviting me to this event.


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