I had never heard about CANSTRUCTION before coming to USA and it is definitely the kind of thing that could only happen in the States. So CANSTRUCTION is an annual Charity Art Exhibition where participants (architectural and engineering firms) build their designs out of full cans of food, which will be donated to local hunger relief organizations once the exhibition is over.

The Exhibition as well as the actual building of the cans’ structures take place in Malls or open public spaces all around the USA. Then, the different designs compete against each other’s locally, nationally and internationally to win titles for the best structures. I participated in the New York one. During the building night all the teams are supposed to build their design, all at once and with unlimited time. Strolling around and watching the whole process from scratch of the different teams was exciting. We were all willing to see how our design turns out as well as other teams’.

In order to build the cansculptures, teams are allowed to use some other materials to help stacking the cans but by no means they could stick them or tie them together. The whole point is that they are easily deconstructed to donate them afterwards.

The origins of the Canstruction idea was inspired by a group of New York Architects in the early 90’s. Then it started spreading all around the country and eventually internationally. I find it a very creative way to help prevent hunger. It turns volunteering and donating into a way to be creative and innovative while inspiring people to help those who needed most.

Claudia Conde


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