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ARC wins Director’s Choice at the 2016 Canstruction Boston Competition

10.28.16 / Candace Naste, Project Manager

For the past twenty-one years, local Architecture & Engineering firms have come together to support the food insecure in our community through Canstruction, a unique design competition and public art exhibition where themed sculptures are constructed entirely out of canned goods.  The structures are kept on display for several weeks, and at the end of the competition all canned goods are donated to a local food bank.

The theme for the 2016 Canstruction competition was “Journey into Space”, and all twenty-seven firms who participated created imaginative structures of a galactic nature; some, intriguing, some nostalgic, and some way out there. Our team at ARC designed and built a UFO hovering over a corn field, its light beam brightening up the sky. 

The process leading up to build-out day starts months before the cans arrive at the installation site.  After the organization committee announces the theme, the team gets busy deciding what to build and takes on the greater challenge of figuring out how to build it.  In between, a lot of time is spent choosing just the right canned goods, as the color, size, and, more importantly, nutrition is key to the success of the structure. Part of our design process takes place in the virtual world as our team uses parametric design software to model the structure down to the very last can.  This allows us to see the design before build-out day and work out any complications in the design of our structure. In the days leading up the competition, portions of the design are often mocked-up in the office to test our solutions beforehand.

This year’s entry “We Come in Peas” was made with canned goods of peas, tuna, corn, and water bottles.  We were challenged with supporting a hovering UFO containing around five hundred cans of peas and tuna while not using any building materials thicker than a quarter inch, and keeping the cans free of glue and other adhesives.

The hard work pays off during the build-out, and challenges aside, all firms enjoy seeing their designs come to fruition. This year, ARC was proud to donate over fourteen hundred canned goods to support Canstruction Boston. The event brought in a total of 85,833 canned goods from twenty-seven firms that will be donated to the Merrimack Valley Food.

Of eight awards categories, ARC was honored to take home “Director’s Choice” in the 2016 competition.  All structures are on display at the Boston Society of Architects Space.

Team: Candace Naste, Jennifer Plume, Joshua Abraham, Alexa Asakiewicz, Tyler Baum, Leslie DelleFave, Danielle Fontaine, Caitlin Walsh, Jay Young

A special thank you to honorary team member Makepeace for sponsoring this year’s ‘We Come In Peas’ and donating their time and services.

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