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. Life

    Don’t Throw It Away—Take It to the Repair Cafe

    This series of workshops aims to keep broken items out of the landfill, and it might help you save a few bucks, too.

  2. An illustration shows two alleys in Detroit.
    Design

    Finding the Untapped Potential of Alleys

    “We’re starting to realize they’re just as powerful as a park or plaza.”

  3. POV

    What ‘Skyscraper’ Doesn’t Get About Skyscrapers

    The Rock’s new movie should have gotten more thrills out of high-rise design, an engineer argues.

  4. A neon sign spells out "66" on historic Route 66.
    Life

    Get Your Kicks Biking Route 66

    Cyclists are now rolling on U.S. Bike Route 66 in Missouri and Kansas, the first stretch of a route planned for the whole length of the historic 2,400-mile highway.

  5. POV

    Can Cities Shape the Automated Future?

    Urban spaces are the testing grounds for the automation revolution. Will they destroy our jobs, or just make new and better ones?