Philanthropy and Design Collide at IIDA NY’s 9th Annual Sustainable Quilt Auction

Photo courtesy of Steve Y. Gardner Creative

Top designers gathered to bid on upcycled quilts to benefit local organization Publicolor

On Wednesday, March 15th, the New York Chapter of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA NY) hosted its 9th annual Sustainable Quilt Auction where the interior design community came out to celebrate the time-honored tradition of quilt making.

The event, which was held at the Steelcase WorkLife Center overlooking Columbus Circle, brought together designers and others from the industry. to bid on extravagant quilts created from discarded fabric samples. Organized by event co-chairs Mike Iovinelli of G3 Architecture and Abigail French of Steelcase (the event sponsor), the evening showcased the union between design and philanthropy while celebrating the great design epicenter that is New York City.

For the second year, proceeds from the quilts and pieces went to benefit Publicolor, a long-term youth development program that engages high-risk students through design education. Using design as a vehicle for involvement, Publicolor’s multi-year continuum of programs encourages academic achievement, college preparation, job readiness, and community service. In 2016, 94% of Publicolor’s high school seniors graduated on time vs. 67% city wide and 100% of those graduates now attend college.

Made up of designers from leading firms like Gensler, IA Interior Architects, and C3 Designs, amongst others, the teams logged over 2,000 hours of quilting for their one-of-a-kind masterpieces made from discarded materials from fabric showrooms, product libraries, and industry samples. Following the theme “What’s Your Pattern?,” eight quilts were up for grabs at the silent auction, ranging in inspiration from Marilyn Monroe and Emilio Pucci to apartment building facades and health-mapping for Asthma awareness. Additionally, for the first time, corresponding quilted purses were created and raffled off at the event.

When two organizations such as the IIDA NY and Publicolor team up, great things happen. Thanks to the proceeds raised at the quilt auction, New York City youth will get the opportunity to immerse themselves in design, a chance they might not have had without these efforts in place.


The IIDA New York Chapter (IIDA NY) is a professional networking and educational association of more than 800 Members in ten specialty Forums. IIDA NY provides its Members with the resources to reach expertise, knowledge and contacts. Networking events allow professionals and industry members to connect on more personal terms that encourage trust, collaboration, and innovation. The Chapter is proud to have been recognized as IIDA Large Chapter of the Year in 2011, 2008, 2001 and 2000. For more information, visit:

About Publicolor:

Publicolor fights poverty by aggressively addressing the alarming dropout rate and low levels of educational attainment and youth employment in New York City. We do this by engaging high-risk students, ages 12-24, in a long-term continuum of intensive, multi-day, design-based programs to encourage academic achievement, community service, college preparation and job readiness. Our unique applied learning approach uses design and design thinking as vehicles to engage, stimulate and inspire at-risk, low-performing students in our city’s struggling middle and high schools, empowering them to achieve success in school, college, career and life. For more information about Publicolor, go to:

Don’t miss Publicolor’s upcoming benefit, Stir Splatter + Roll 2017 on May 22. Honorees include Monika and Deven Parekh, Barbara and Donald Tober, and Jeffrey J. Osborne. Click here for more info.