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Canstruction 2017


Image courtesy Ian Yelich.

Canstruction is a charity event and exhibition where teams of architects, designers, engineers, and contractors compete in magical feats of engineering to create whimsical sculptures made out of canned goods and other nonperishable food items—without the use of glue or other adhesives. Now in its 22nd year, Canstruction raises hunger awareness in Massachusetts by challenging 29 Boston design teams to transform thousands of nonperishable food into larger-than-life masterpieces at BSA Space and in the Atlantic Wharf lobby at 280 Congress Street, Boston. The participating teams will compete for top honors in categories including Best Use of Labels, Best Meal, Structural Ingenuity, Most Cans, and Jurors’ Favorite, among others.

This year's theme is fairy tales, folklore, and mythical creatures!

Admission is free and kid friendly. Suggested donation: one can or other nonperishable item of food per person (such as tuna, beans, peanut butter, and canned vegetables).

Members of the public will have the opportunity to vote online for their favorite works through the Canstruction Boston Facebook page at from October 8, until 1:00 pm on October 11. After the sculptures are dismantled, all the canned goods, supplied by the teams, will be donated to the Merrimack Valley Food Bank in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Founded in 1992, Canstruction’s mission is to highlight the issue of hunger across communities, collect food for distribution to thousands and to showcase the creativity of the design industry. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 13.1 million children under 18 in the United States live in households where they are unable to consistently access enough nutritious food necessary for a healthy life. For more than two decades, the design community in Boston has united through a creative medium that provides canned food for charities fighting hunger in Massachusetts. In 2015, Canstruction Boston donated 82,310 pounds of food from the participating 25 teams, which is the equivalent of more than 63,315 meals meal servings. In the past 20 years, Canstruction Boston has collected more than 800,000 pounds of food, which has provided over 675,000 meals to those in the Greater Boston and surrounding areas.

A total of 29 teams are taking part in this year’s edition.

Participating firms:

Ann Beha Architects + Thornton Tomasetti (Joint Venture)

ARC/ Architectural Resources Cambridge



CBT Architects

CUBE 3 Studio

EYP Architecture & Engineering

Gensler + ARUP (Joint Venture)

Goody Clancy


Harrison French & Associates

HMFH Architects

Integrated Design Group

L.A. Fuess Partners

Nitsch Engineering


Prellwitz Chillinski Associates

Phase Zero Design

Sasaki Associates

Simpson Gumpertz & Heger


SMRT Architects & Engineers + Columbia Construction (Joint Venture)


Steffian Bradley Architects

Studio Troika

Symmes Maini & McKee Associates

Wessling Architects

Wilson Butler Architects + Northeastern Chi Epsilon Chapter (Joint Venture)

WSP / Parsons Brinkerhoff

Image: Canstruction 2016. Photo: Paige McWhorter.

Celebrate the sesquicentennial anniversary of Boston Society of Architects/AIA (BSA) in 2017. Read a weekly essay by BSA’s leaders and allies and enjoy a free exhibition focusing on its achievements over the last 150 years.