AIA-NJ’s 17th Annual ‘Canstruction’ Event Demonstrates Design Excellence For Charity

“Forms of Communication”-Themed Competition Collects 13,145 Pounds of Food and More Than $6,000 For Community Food Bank of NJ

IMG_3250While dazzling crowds at the Livingston Mall with colossal structures made entirely from canned food, the Newark and Suburban section of AIA-NJ’s 17th annual “Canstruction” event saw 13,145 pounds of canned of food and more than $6,000 donated to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey (CFBNJ).

Titled “Forms of Communications,” this year’s Canstruction event challenged four teams of talented architects and designers to build their most impressive can structures that portray the “ways and how to communicate.” The colossal designs were constructed during a 12-hour “Build Day” at the Livingston Mall, and remained on display for ten days, after which they were dismantled by a crew of food bank volunteers and shipped to CFBNJ’s warehouse for donation to one of the hundreds of food kitchens they support.

Team members were responsible for designing their structures, procuring and bringing their own canned goods, and constructing their displays.

The can displays were judged and awarded in various categories, including “Jurors Favorite,” “Structural Integrity,” “People’s Choice,” and “Best Meal.” The four judges for this year were Kimberly Bunn, AIA, president of AIA-NJ; Tim Vogel, CFBNJ Director; Margaret DeSantis, Event Co-chair; and Stephen Rooney, AIA, president of AIA-NJ’s Newark & Suburban Section.

“As architects, we constantly strive to serve the community, Canstruction combines elements of design and educational value with a charitable outreach that helps needy individuals,” said Bunn. “As a judge at this year’s event, I was truly impressed with the creations the competitors made with such limited materials, and it’s particularly gratifying to know that it is all going to an important cause.”

Following the judges’ deliberations, awards were handed out, including:

  • Gensler’s Morristown team took home two of the event’s awards, “Jurors Favorite” and “Best Use of Labels.”
  • NK Architects, perennial Canstruction participants and award winners, also from Morristown, took home the “Structural Integrity” award.
  • The “Best Meal” award was given to Solutions Architecture, Corp. of Newark.
  • The “Honorable Mention” award was presented to Martinsville-based De Biasse and Seminara Architects.
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