Canned Goodness, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from istorija’s photostream

CANstruction turns giving into an art form — literally! During a CANstruction event, teams of architects, engineers and contractors are given twelve hours of one day to build large sculptures made entirely out of canned foods (cardboard, clear tape and wire can be used to join cans together, but those materials cannot be visible from the exterior of the structure). There’s a viewing of the sculptures where the public can vote on their favorite piece.

The best part? All the canned goods are donated to community food banks — with a typical structure containing 1,000+ cans! Since 1992, CANstruction has contributed over 17.5 million pounds of food to the hungry. This will be the second year that a CANstruction event will be held in Pittsburgh (you can see a KDKA News story on last year’s local CANstruction here). The canned goods will be donated to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

Canstruction 2007 Tree, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from ian.korn’s photostream

Awards will be given in the following categories: Best Meal, Best Use of Labels, Structural Ingenuity, Juror’s Favorite, Honorable Mention and People’s Choice. All winners will then go on to an international competition. Design teams for this year’s contest in Pittsburgh will include entries from IKM Incorporated, Perkins Eastman, Giant Eagle Design, IBACOS, International Interior Design Association (IIDA), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Carpenters Union, and Desmone and Associates Architects. Sponsors include Nello Construction; Del Monte; Fourth Economy Consulting; Level 3 Graphics; PJ Dick, Trumbull, and Lindy Paving; Meyer, Unkovic & Scott LLP; Workscape; The Duggar Rhodes Group; Fortier Engineering; Gateway Engineers; Professional Service Industries (PSI); and Schnieder Downs.

You can see these fantastic “canstructions” and cast a vote for your favorite from Monday, September 24th at 8:00 AM to Friday, September 28th at 5:00 PM at One Oxford Centre (301 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA, 15219). A free Awards Ceremony & Gala will also be held at One Oxford Centre on September 28th from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. (map)

For more information on CANstruction Pittsburgh, you can visit their website at, their Facebook page here and an article by Nello Construction here. To give you a better idea of what goes into making one of these sculptures, here’s a time lapse video of the construction of a huge corn stalk for a 2009 CANstruction event: