Though we're fans of design auctions—and have written about them on these pages in the past—furniture, design objets, and even entire homes (by Frank Lloyd Wright, no less) are rad, but wouldn't you rather have an "experience"?
That's the thinking behind a benefit auction being conducted by the design non-profit Van Alen Institute in collaboration with online auction house Paddle 8, kicking off today and lasting two weeks, through 5pm EDT on Wednesday, April 27. It's not the organization's first benefit auction; we wrote about last year's Van Alen Institute benefit auction, too, where items included a studio tour with Bjarke Ingels and birdwatching with architect (and certified genius) Jeanne Gang.
So, what are the lots? Among the 25 "experiences" on the docket, items include dinner with Daniel Libeskind and his wife, Nina (starting bid: $1,450); "a jaunt around Madrid" with Pritzker Prize-winning Spanish architect Rafael Moneo (starting at $1,750); and a cocktail party at the Lowline Lab, a space that holds a full-scale prototype of the planned underground park for Manhattan's Lower East Side.
Some of the wackier items on offer—because we know you're interested—include a session called "Getting Handsy" with Nikolai "Niki" Haas, one half of the Haas Brothers, the Los Angeles-based designers (and twins) known for their Surrealist seating, tables, vitrines, and more. In a workshop with the two designers, the item winner will "work with Niki Haas to find a new understanding of the human body" by learning how to create sculptures of body parts. Bidding starts at $950.
Of particular interest to this editor is a trip to Marfa, Texas, to visit Donald Judd's compound there (with three guests!), including a tour of his home and studio. Bidding starts at $750. "Following the tour, head over to a local bar for a tasting of the region's finest tequilas and smokey mezcals." Sold!
For the full list, head on over to the Paddle 8 page for the Van Alen auction.
∙ A Benefit Auction for Van Alen Institute [Paddle 8]