2017-04-01 / Shorts

Competition is Stacked for Canstruction

Robyn Passante

Do you think canned goods can be visually exciting design tools and tools to help stamp out hunger? Six professional design teams with a “can do” attitude and a whole lot of creativity aim to prove it at the Nittany Mall this month when the international food charity competition Canstruction comes to town.

On April 20, each team will build a free-standing structure — no bigger than 10 feet by 10 feet and no taller than 8 feet high — made entirely of cans. Lisa Hayes, director of marketing for Hoffman Leakey Architects, says the designs have already been submitted and approved and will impress the crowds that come out to see them.

“I’m very excited about them — they’re all different,” says Hayes, chairperson of the event, which is sponsored by Hoffman Leakey Architects, Wegmans and the Nittany Mall. “They did some things I completely didn’t expect at all and I’m really pleased with the clever incorporations of their mission statements.”

Each team submitted a mission statement that explained the message they’re trying to convey with their design, Hayes says. And to do so, they’re using canned goods selected mostly from a list provided by the State College Area Food Bank’s priority list of needed items. Each team is responsible for purchasing all cans needed, and everything will be donated to the food bank when the competition is done.

The designs, which use 500 to 3,700 cans each, will be situated near the center of the mall and will remain up until April 29 — an awards ceremony will be held April 28 at 3 p.m.  

“There’s a lot of excitement around the event and really great friendly competition, and talks already about next year,” says Hayes, who hopes to make it an annual event.

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