Become an Instagram celebrity like Matthew Foley, courtesy of the Van Alen Institute's "experience auction." Matthew Foley/Van Alen Institute

Bid on time with artists, curators, and others in the design field at the Van Alen Institute's "experience auction" fundraiser.

Do you want to go bird-watching in Chicago with Jeanne Gang? Blow smoke rings in Copenhagen with Bjarke Ingels? Um, get in a hot tub with Charles Renfro?

Anything is possible through the Van Alen Institute. The New York nonprofit architecture organization is hosting an "experience auction" to fund its research and public programming. Architects, artists, academics, curators, and other practitioners from the design field are willing to get down with you (and your friends!)—for the right price.

Some of these experiences sound pleasant in the extreme:

  • Explore the Mississippi River Delta from a small plane with Trey Trahan. Touring this captivating region by air will reveal the dynamism of the river’s morphology and its effects on the built environment. Don’t worry, a professional pilot will be at the controls! (Yes, please.)
  • Feed your inner clothes-horse with an exclusive afternoon with menswear designer Patrik Ervell. Meet Ervell at his NYC studio where you will see his newest collection, get a private fitting, and have a glass (or two) of wine. You'll walk out a new man. (You don't have to twist my arm.)
  • Pop a bottle of prosecco with Mark Robbins, president of the American Academy in Rome, at the 17th-century Villa Aurelia atop Janiculum Hill. You and a friend are then invited to attend the Academy's exclusive gala in June 2016—the Italian capital's social event of the season. (Cries a single tear.)

I'm not sure what a "genomic library calculator tattoo" is, but I'd trust Liam Gillick more than most artists to come up with a tasteful equation to permanently ink on my skin. Personally, I mean to bid on Nada Debs's guided tour of the art scene in Beirut. Or maybe the New York tutorial from @mjfiii and @cbmy Instagram game could use some work.

Who am I kidding? I can't pass up on that hot-tub roundtable.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Five dragon decorations sit on the front lawn of a Louisiana home.
    Life

    Her Neighbor Hated Her Dragon Nativity Scene. So She Got More Dragons.

    A lesson in Christmastime neighborliness from South Louisiana.

  2. A data visualization shows 200 years of immigration to the U.S. represented as a thickening tree trunk.
    Life

    A New Way of Seeing 200 Years of American Immigration

    To depict how waves of immigrants shaped the United States, a team of designers looked to nature as a model.

  3. Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village
    Perspective

    How Low Turnover Fuels New York City’s Affordable Housing Crisis

    American Community Survey data shows that New Yorkers stay in apartments, including rent-regulated ones, for longer than most, leaving little room for newcomers.

  4. Traffic moving along Interstate 75 against the downtown skyline in Atlanta.
    Life

    Fast-Growing Companies Prefer Vibrant Parts of Cities—and Suburbs

    A new study finds that high-growth companies flock to neighborhoods that are more mixed-use and transit-accessible, whether in urban centers or suburbia.

  5. Young students walking towards a  modern wood building surrounded by snow and trees
    Environment

    Norway’s Energy-Positive Building Spree Is Here

    Oslo’s Powerhouse collective wants buildings that make better cities in the face of climate change.