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Associate AIA's CANstruction builds on the idea of a traditional food drive

What do you get when the the American Institute of Architects Associate Committee fights hunger in Philadelphia? Colossal structures made out of canned goods, of course. Now in its seventh year, the CANstruction Competition asks local designers to create structures out of canned food, taking the idea of a food drive to new heights. Literally.
All the food used in the competition is donated to Philabundance, the Delaware Valley's largest hunger relief organization. Last year, the event provided over 87,000 meals to those in need. The 2013 installment looks to improve on that impressive feat -- 14 teams from across the region will display their works in the rotunda of the Shops at Liberty Place (1625 Chestnut Street) April 13 through 21.
The building starts on April 12, but teams have been hard at work planning their complex designs. There are certain restrictions: structures can be no larger than 10-by-10 square feet and no taller than eight feet.
"From there, it's up to the teams to decide how practical, tall and creative their structures are," explains CANstruction Event Chair Jared Edgar McKnight, an architectural designer.
Designs will then be judged on seven different categories.  
"We have awards for everything from structural integrity and aesthetic choices, such as best use of labels," says McKnight. "We also have fun awards like Best Meal, which looks at potential meals that could be made from each teams' structure of cans, and People's Choice, which is voted on by the public throughout the weeklong exhibition."
The awards will be given out at a reception on April 13 (tickets are still on sale) with all proceeds benefitting Philabundance.
"Internationally, this competition puts a spotlight on the issue of hunger in America and around the world," says McKnight. "Locally, the competition allows creative people in the Philadelphia design community the opportunity to make a difference and be catalysts for positive change in our own backyard."
Source: Jared Edgar McKnight, CANstruction Event Chair
WriterGreg Meckstroth
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