Canstruction

Canstruction, Inc. is a national charity of the design and construction industry created by the Society for Design Administration. For millions, each day begins and ends with the anguish of hunger. Canstruction, a charity sponsored by the design and construction industry, is determined to end this suffering. Canstruction is a design/build competition showcasing the talents of design and construction industry professionals and students they mentor. At events held around the world, teams are given just nine hours to defy expectations, logic and gravity as they build fantastic Cansculptures from thousands of cans of food. Driven by the knowledge that their Cansculptures will change lives – by lifting the spirits of those in need, by raising public awareness, and most importantly, by filling the shelves of local food banks – dedicated volunteers in a variety of categories bring their creations to life. During the next week, the super-sized masterpieces are judged in a variety of categories as these unconventional art exhibits are opened to the public, the cost of admission – just one can of food.

Canstruction uses one can as a catalyst for change. One can to represent the building blocks of these massive can-sculptures. One can to prove that every act of kindness makes a difference. Through the generosity of volunteers, celebrity judges and members of the community, Canstruction has contributed millions of pounds of food to community food banks – demonstrating that we can win the fight against hunger. One CAN make a difference. One CAN at a time.

Canstruction Houston

Houston held its first Canstruction event in 1995. It grew quickly from a few professional teams to both a student and professional competition that raised more than 100,000 pounds of food. After a brief hiatus in 2003 and 2004, the competition restarted in 2005 and continues on the tradition with a dedicated Board of Directors and committee.

From 2005 through 2013, event donations have exceeded 400,000 pounds of food plus $75,000 benefiting the Houston Food Bank. Canstruction Houston's 2013 event is our largest event so far, donating over 105,000 pounds of food to the Houston Food Bank. Canstruction Houston was a non-profit association when it closed its doors on 12/31/13.

In 2014, the Canstruction event continued under reorganization and maintained its non-profit status.

In 2015, Canstruction Houston, Inc. was established and is officially recognized as a 501(c)3, charitable organization.

Mission Statement

To produce a unique competition and food drive where Houston area architects, engineers and construction firms and students build creative and ingenious Cansculptures with canned food and other non-perishable food items. All items are then donated to the Houston Food Bank to benefit the less fortunate throughout the greater Houston area.

Core Values

  • All firms, schools and sponsors will be recognized for their contributions.
  • All food and remaining team sponsor donations will go to the Houston Food Bank.
  • Competition will be held in accordance with the Charter of Canstruction, Inc.

Canstruction: an International Organization

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 Cansculptures 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. Its 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 Cansculpture. 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.

Houston Food Bank

Now operating from a new, 308,000 square-foot facility, the Houston Food Bank is the nation's largest size Feeding America food bank and source of food for hunger relief charities in 18 southeast Texas counties. A network of 500 food pantries, soup kitchens, senior centers and other agencies, feeding a total of 137,000 people each week, provides 50 million nutritious meals annually. Fresh produce, meat and non-perishables are distributed from the new warehouse at 535 Portwall, and hot meals are prepared and distributed from Keegan Center, a 15,000 square-foot industrial kitchen. Additional community services range from nutrition education to assistance with food stamp applications and hands-on job training. Red barrels offer a convenient way for grocery shoppers to donate nonperishables for their neighbors in need. The Houston Food Bank, founded in 1982, is a certified member of Feeding America, the nation's food bank network. The organization plans to grow to an annual distribution of 100 million nutritious meals by 2018.

SDA, AIA, and Other Participating Organizations

There are many organizations that are involved in Canstruction either locally, nationally, or both. The two that are most involved locally are the Society for Design Administration and the American Institute of Architects.