There’s often a large amount of difference between community service and innovative design. Canstruction is an annual event that’s aimed at changing that. The design event is held in cities all around North America, Australia and across the world. Over an 8-12 week period, teams of engineers, architects and students band together to create fascinating and amazing sculptures out of thousands of cans of food.
Following a public exhibit of the sculptures, all of the food is donated to local food pantries and shelters. Created in 1992 by the Society of Design Administration, Canstruction has collected over ten million pounds of food. More than 130 local competitions are expected to be held in the 2009/2010 season.
These amazing structures really are feats of engineering. The competition lets top architects and engineers show off their design skills to a huge audience while doing something good for the poor in their city. Canstruction is sponsored by contributions from local associations in every city, and visitors are invited to make additional donations of canned food or cash when coming to see the exhibit.
But more than being a great art exhibit, a chance for engineers and strut their stuff and a unique philanthropic project, the Canstruction sculptures are an innovative way to create low-waste, ecologically friendly art. The materials used don’t create an additional negative environmental impact and just go to show that incredible things can be made from ordinary, everyday materials.
Canstruction builds are often community events, with spectators being invited to watch the structures go together. The Super Bowl XLII Host Committee invited Canstruction to build two Giants helmets as part of the 2008 Super Bowl weekend festivities, and families were invited to watch it take place. Canstruction sculptures have also appeared at major events like Oddysey of the Mind, the NeoCon World’s Trade Fair and various conferences and gatherings around the world.