Canstruction: Architects Build Sculptures with Canned Food to Benefit the Hungry

Detail of “Alexander McCan,” a sculptural shoe paying homage to designer Alexander McQueen, created using the ingredients for “three bean” salad all from Goya: cans of El Jib dry pigeon beans, black bean soup and French style green beans.

NEW YORK—There are piles and piles of canned food at the World Financial Center. The downtown building is hosting the annual “Canstruction” event which benefits New York families in need of food. The competition and exhibition is in its 19th year and includes dozens of architecture firms that have collaborated to create 25 sculptures constructed using all kinds of canned food—from soup, to tuna and Spam. Each can sculpture is composed of thousands of cans of food that will be donated to City Harvest at the end of the exhibit. Visitors are encouraged to bring donations of canned food when they come to view the sculptures, which are on display through tomorrow—Monday, Nov. 21.

All photos by Arts Observer

“High-tops for Hunger!” by Thornton Tomasetti depicts a Converse high-top sneaker.

Detail of “Hight-tops for Hunger!” which was created using 2,830 cans of vegetarian beans in tomato sauce, pork and beans in tomato sauce, beef broth, anchovies, tuna and sardines.

“Root Against Hunger” by Dattner Architects won for Best Meal. This tree with roots was built using 5,436 cans of chicken, green beans, sweet peas, beets, carrots, and macaroni with beef.

Gruzen Sampton/IBI Group created “QR Can: Link to Fight Hunger,” a sculpture of a QR code that apparently really works (it didn’t on my iPhone) using 3,000 cans of Bumblebee and Crown Prince solid white white tuna. It was recognized for its Best Use of Labels.

“Cangry Birds” by DeSimone Consulting Engineers was constructed using 3,500 cans of peas, crab meat, beefaroni and tuna.

“STOP Hunger START Sharing,” by Cetra Ruddy is composed of 2,060 cans of black olives, corn, peaches and tomato sauce.

“Suspending Hunger” by Skanska USA was the winner for Structural Ingenuity. The sculpture was created using cans of Spam, tuna, green beans, red kidney beans and string.

“Loaded Dice” by Gensler/WSP Flack + Kurtz was the Juror’s Favorite and was made using more than 8,590 cans of more than 20 kinds of ingredients, many of them organic, including a few kinds of beans, chick peas, olives, spaghetti rings, corn, carrots and fruit cocktail.

Constructed using 3,600 cans, “Alexander McCan” by Kohn Pederson Fox Associates PC, pays homage to the famous sculptural shoes by the late designer Alexander McQueen.

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