Hot Tub Design Machine: New York’s Van Alen Institute launches its annual auction of out-of-the-box architectural experiences

Architecture East
Bid on an architecture roundtable at Charles Renfro's Fire Island's hot tub. (Courtesy Van Alen Institute)

Bid on an architecture roundtable at Charles Renfro’s Fire Island’s hot tub. (Courtesy Van Alen Institute)

If you have ever longed to explore nature with your favorite architect or discuss the built environment in your bikini, now you’ll have the chance. Well, for a few bucks, but in the good name of architecture. The Van Alen Institute has launched its online auction of Art + Design Experiences to coincide with its Spring Party, going down this Wednesday in Lower Manhattan.

The auction list boasts exclusive and out-of-the-box experiences with top critics, famed architects, and professionals in the arts and design fields. Some of the more compelling items, or activities, to bid on, include:

—A Fire Island hot tub roundtable with architect Charles Renfro at his mid-century modern beach house.

—Testing the smoke ring generator at Copenhagen’s new waste-to-energy power plant with Bjarke Ingels.

—A helicopter ride on Norman Foster‘s personal helicopter through London’s skyline, including the architect’s own icons.

—A bird watching expedition in an iconic urban park with Jeanne Gang.

—Joining Sotheby’s chairman Lisa Dennison for her daily salon blowout ritual as she offers tips on building a blue-chip art collection, followed by a personalized tour of MoMA’s permanent holdings.

Visit the auction site to check out and bid on the offerings. Bidding closes on Wednesday, May 20. Get your digital paddles ready.

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