Archictects, Engineers, Contractors Team Up To Canstruct A City Without Hunger

Second annual Canstruction structures to be on view May 14 – May 21, 2011 at the Shops at Liberty Place


PHILADELPHIA (May 12, 2011) – Joining the fight against hunger in Philadelphia for a fifth year, the city’s architects, engineers, and contractors are teaming up to create giant structures completely out of canned food in the fifth annual Canstruction, a unique design/build competition sponsored by the Associates Committee of AIA Philadelphia under the auspices of the Society for Design Administration.

In Philadelphia, the structures, with clever names and city-based themes, are placed on view in the Rotunda of the Shops at Liberty Place, 1601 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, from May 14 – May 21, 2011. Canstruction will begin with an intense, 12-hour build night May 13. When the competition is over, the food is donated to Philabundance, the region’s largest hunger relief organization, which distributed 21 million pounds of food to those in need in 2010. During the run of the exhibition, the public is also invited to contribute canned foods. In 2010, Canstruction raised 30,011 pounds of food.

“This competition focuses on hunger in America, a problem which many do not realize exists, and allows creative people to support a great organization striving to end it,” says Ariana Dennis, AIA, co-chair of the Canstruction Committee. “Canstruction also showcases the best and brightest in Philadelphia’s design community. Each year, it is incredible to see what our teams can do with nothing more than cans of food and their ingenuity.”

“Every year, Philabundance looks forward to being the beneficiary of Canstruction,” said Bill Clark president and executive director of Philabundance. “This event is unique in that it shows food as the building block of our communities.”

A foundation of the Society for Design Administration, Canstruction is held across the nation each year, turning public spaces into sculpture gardens. Since its inception, Canstruction has seen over 10 million pounds of food donated to food banks local to the competition cities. Teams are given just 12 hours to defy logic and gravity as they create structures out of thousands of cans.

Philabundance reduces hunger and food insecurity in the Delaware Valley by providing food access to people in need in partnership with organizations and individuals. Philabundance provides a full plate of services to close to 500 member agencies in 9 counties, who serve approximately 65,000 people per week at an aggregate cost of 50 cents per meal. There are more than 900,000 people in the Delaware Valley who are at risk for chronic hunger and malnutrition. In 2010, Philabundance distributed 21 million pounds of food. For more information about Philabundance, visit www.philabundance.orgcor or call 215-339-0900.

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AIA Philadelphia, a Chapter of The American Institute of Architects founded in 1869, serves more than 1,700 architects and related professionals in Philadelphia, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties. In addition to providing professional and educational support to members, AIA Philadelphia is a resource for the community through its programs, publications, public service projects and AIA Bookstore & Design Center.

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