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

Fourth annual Canstruction structures to be on view April 24 – May 2, 2010 at the Shops at Liberty Place

PHILADELPHIA (April 19, 2010) – Joining the fight against hunger in Philadelphia for a fourth year, the city’s architects, engineers, and contractors are teaming up to create giant structures completely out of canned food in the fourth annual Canstruction, a unique design/build competition organized 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 April 24 – May 2, 2010. Canstruction will begin with an intense, 12-hour build night April 23rd. When the competition is over, the food is donated to Philabundance, the area’s food bank, who provided 17 million pounds of food in 2009, to those in need in the Greater Philadelphia area. During the run of the exhibition, the public is also invited to contribute canned foods. Last year, Canstruction raised nearly 69,000 cans of food. Philabundance’s inventory of non-perishable foods is down 53% from this time last year putting a strain on Philabundance’s ability to meet the increasing need.

“This competition puts the spotlight on hunger in America and allows us to support a great organization striving to end it,” says Angel Davis-Taylor, , Canstruction Event Chair. “At the same time, Canstruction showcases the best and brightest in Philadelphia’s design community. It’s amazing to watch what our teams can do with nothing more than full cans of food and their ingenuity.”

A USDA report on hunger released late in 2009, showed the increase of 13 million Americans who went from having enough food to seeking food aid exceeds Pennsylvania’s population by 500,000. Of the 49 million people experiencing food insecurity, about 20.5 million or 42 percent were people living just above the federal poverty level at or above 130 percent.

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 the create structures out of thousands of cans. Awards will be presented in categories such as Juror’s Favorite, Best Meal, and Best Use of Labels. The public also has a chance to get involved by voting for their favorite structure to win the People’s Choice Award. Voting can be done online at www.philabundance.org, and this year visitors to Liberty Place will also be able to vote through text message. The structure with the most votes will be announced on Philabundance’s web site on May 3.

Philabundance is the region’s largest hunger relief organization fighting hunger and malnutrition in the Delaware Valley. Philabundance provides a full plate of services to close to 500 member agencies in nine counties, who serve approximately 900,000 low income residents. Philabundance provides food to approximately 65,000 people per week, at an aggregate cost of less than 30 cents per meal.

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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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