Design In Motion

Every year IIDA’s Northern California Chapter hosts a philanthropic event, Design in Motion, to raise funds to support a local organization. This year’s benefactor was Urban Releaf, an urban forestry non-profit whose mission is to “address the needs of communities that have little to no greenery or tree canopy.” They are based in Oakland, and work specifically in “under-served neighborhoods that suffer from disproportionate environmental quality of life and economic depravity.” Urban Releaf hosts weekly tree-planting events, as well as workshops and educational events.

The event raises funds through a silent auction, and for the last five years has auctioned off hand-designed canvas bags. However, keeping the theme of “Design for Wellness” in mind, IIDA announced that the 6th annual Design in Motion Charity Gala would auction off hand-crafted terrariums instead.

Along with several other Bay Area interior design firms, RBA was asked to design a terrarium for the event’s auction.

We were given four categories to choose from:

  • “Foraged” – (Made with found objects)
  • “East Bay Iconic Tribute” – (Warriors, Oakland Landmarks, etc.)
  • “Off the Grid” – (Unconventional container)
  • “Miniature Place” – (Fantasy world or somewhere you’d rather be)

As a group, we decided to enter the “Miniature Place” category, because we felt that it allowed for the most creativity and versatility. After some independent research, brainstorming, and much group discussion, we came up with the concept that in our miniature place, architecture should coexist with nature to align with Urban Releaf’s mission. So naturally, we designed a treehouse!

We gathered our supplies, assembled an assortment of wine and cheese for the team to enjoy, and got to work!

Our finished product qualified as one of the five designs to be sold at the live auction portion of the event. After a friendly bidding war, our terrarium sold as the highest seller at the event, earning $660 for Urban Releaf! We were so excited to have the opportunity to contribute to this charity event benefitting an organization that does such important work. We can’t wait for next year!

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