Canstruction Houston is a unique design/build competition for Houston Area architects, engineers, and construction firms. Canstruction puts a visual spotlight on hunger while showcasing the design and construction industry giving back to the communities it helps build. Architects, engineers, designers, contractors and students mentored by these professionals, are challenged to design and build colossal sculptures using canned food as their primary building block. Tape and cardboard serve as nails and cement. The colors and designs on food product labels form the artists' pallet. "Bricks" come in a variety of sizes from the smallest tuna can to the industrial-size tomato can. Competition rules dictate that structures can be only 10' x 20' x 8' h and must be self-supporting.

This deliciously inventive charity broke ground in 1992, the brainchild of the Society for Design Administration in association with chapters of the American Institute of Architects and allied professional organizations in the design and construction industry. A truly grass roots, all volunteer charity, the competition currently takes place in over 90 cities across North America but is destined to spread beyond our shores to nations around the world. It’s the most exciting food drive ever created. 1.2 million pounds of food is currently raised annually as a result of the competitions. Our goal is to significantly increase this amount each year by increasing the number of cities and firms participating, and by increasing the quantity of food used in each structure.

Canstruction has the ability to cross all political, national, racial and religious boundaries, bringing all societies together to produce a visually stunning collective statement to put an end to hunger. A&E – The Graphics Complex, a division of Thomas Reprographics was the underwriting sponsor for the 2011 SDA Canstruction Design Build competition benefiting the Houston Food Bank! Fourteen area firms came together to build structures at Houston’s CityCentre and competed for the top awards. This year’s Houston area winners are as follows:

  • Best Meal - VLK/Langham Creek High School
  • Best Use of Labels – Cobb Fendley Architects
  • Structural Ingenuity – Costello
  • Jurors Favorite – Gensler
  • Honorable Mention – Perkins + Will
  • Honorable Mention – English + Associates
  • Best Use of Most Needed Items – Gensler
  • Best Sign – Mitchell Carlson Stone

See photos here.