CANstruction 2012 Build Day

September 20, 2012

AIA-NJ Newark and Suburban hosted the 14th annual CANstruction Build Day today at the Livingston Mall in Livingston, NJ.

View pictures taken during the build from the Star Ledger on

After todays eight-hour “Build Day”, the structures will be judged tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 21, at an awards gala.  Find out details to attend the free awards and gala event.  The structures will remain on display at the mall through Oct. 1.

The theme of this year’s competition is “Back to School.” The event is held under the auspices of the Society for Design Administration, a national professional organization affiliated with the AIA.

“Every year we look forward to this event, at which architects can show off their creativity while helping the community,” said Christy DiBartolo, chair of the New Jersey event. “Through Canstruction, we provide for people in need of hunger relief while showcasing the talents of the architecture profession in a unique and worthwhile way.”

The New Jersey exhibition is part of a national AIA-sponsored event that calls upon teams of architects, engineers, contractors and designers, as well as students mentored by these professionals, to design and build 10-by-10-by-8-foot-high structures made entirely from canned food.

Participating firms are responsible for obtaining the cans used in their structures, which involves soliciting donations from food manufacturers, supermarkets, clients, family and friends. At the conclusion of the weeklong exhibition, the cans are donated to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey (CFBNJ) for distribution to community food programs.

CFBNJ distributes more than 39 million pounds of food and groceries a year, ultimately serving 1,500 nonprofit programs, including 436 programs served by its partner distribution organizations. The combined efforts of these nonprofit programs assist more than 900,000 people in 18 New Jersey counties.

This will be the 14th year for the design competition in New Jersey. Last year, seven New Jersey teams comprised of architects and engineers used over 44,000 cans of food to build structures based on designs that took months to conceptualize.

Since the founding of Canstruction, over 17.5 million pounds of food have been donated to community food banks to aid in the fight against hunger. Initiated by the Denver, Seattle and New York chapters of the SDA in 1992-1993, Canstruction had more than 130 individual competitions take place during the 2011/2012 cycle. In that cycle alone, Canstruction gathered 3,419,885 pounds of food, enough for 1,500,000 meals.

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