2009 Canstruction Boston Award Winners


Juror’s Favorite:

Eat the Art(ifact)  |  Simpson Gumphertz & Heger  |  2,712 cans used

Our sculpture of King Tutankhamun’s (Tut) mask, an artifact originally created for the mummy of the famous Egyptian pharaoh in the Eighteenth Dynasty, is complete with the brilliant colors gold and blue.  This edible artifact was created at a scale four times larger than the original and includes many of the intricate details of King Tut’s bust.  The sculpture is self-supported using only masonite leveling layers between the cans with Tut’s face cleverly balanced and supported by the chin and an interior can structure used to support the top of Tut’s head.

Structural Ingenuity:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar…Not So Hungry Anymore!  |  TRO Jung/Brannen  |  2,925 cans used

This self-supporting sculpture required 19 levels to complete. The arch span of the caterpillar is supported by one level of ¼”plywood and the rest of the caterpillar’s levels are ¼” foam-core. The caterpillar is using a double-can depth approach to offset the weight and allows us to hide the levels. Additionally we use a rubber band tieback technique to secure the cans together and allow for suspension and cantilevering.

Del Monte Fresh Cut Leaf Spinach, Del Monte Sliced Potatoes, and Shopper’s Value Cut Green Beans provide the green for the caterpillar’s body with hints of blue from “blue label” Goya Red Kidney Beans and Goya Black Beans. A smaller sized yellow El Pato Tomato Sauce can is used to create the yellow ridge radiating from the caterpillar’s body. For the circular shaped face, Hunts Tomato Sauce cans give it a deep red color, Baxter’s Lobster Bisque is used to form the mouth, and the El Pato yellow cans are used again to help outline the green of the eyes, which are made up of the cans of spinach and green beans. Lastly, for those young at heart fans of the “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” book and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, we have used Smucker’s Grape Jelly to help create the height and shape of the caterpillar’s antennae and large Shopper’s Value Peanut Butter jars are used to replicate the six feet.

Best Use of Labels:

The Art of LOVE  |  AECOM  |  1,889 cans used

Love is the most powerful force in the world, and only love will eradicate hunger. AECOM has designed a new interpretation of Robert Indiana’s iconic pop art sculpture LOVE, made entirely out of nutritious food. Composed of baked beans, vegetarian beans, tomatoes, beef ravioli, and a little bit of TLC, The Art of LOVE will provide delicious and healthy meals from each of its four letters. We invite you to eat the Art!

Best Meal:

Beantown Pineapple  |  Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates and Northeastern University  | 2,282 cans used

Northeastern University created a smiling pineapple wearing sunglasses to compliment a local theme of “Eat the Art”.  The name comes from both building in Boston and the supply of beans in the sculpture.  Each layer of the body is made of four concentric circles of cans with a central column of five cans.  Every additional layer of cans is rotated so that the center resides over the faces of two cans below it.  This was done to stabilize the structure.  The second, third, and fourth layers overhang the preceding layers to give the pineapple a rounded shape.  The sunglasses are supported at the bottom of the rims by a lip of masonite while the bridge and temples are incorporated into the face of the pineapple.  The lower portion of the crown was built edging tuna cans outwards.  The middle portion of the crown is comprised of base cans and then three flush cans leaning over half of the rim.

Honorable Mention:

Think Big:  One Giant Scoop for Mankind!  | Einhorn Yaffee Prescott Architecture & Engineering  |  1,650 cans used

While contemplating this year’s theme, “Eat the Art,” our team was inspired by the art of Claes Oldenberg.  His best-known pieces of public sculpture invite the observer to reconsider every day objects by exaggerating their scale and manipulating their context.  Our recreation of Dropped Cone (2001, Oldenberg & van Bruggen) aspires to impart the same sense of whimsy and irreverence as the original towering above the streets of Cologne, Germany. Unlike the original, our “Dropped Cone” is quite nutritious with tomato building, pinto bean cone, and a giant scoop of tuna fish ice cream.  The work is a reason for pause, a reason to smile, a reason to think differently about your everyday trials and tribulations; and that’s the kind of thinking that brings positive change.

We used 600 Cans of Bumble Bee Chunk light Tuna in Water, 550 Cans of Shaw’s Whole Tomatoes, and 500 Cans of Carlita Pinto Beans; creating a 1650 can structure of edible art.

Honorable Mention:

Canto Sushi:  The Origin of Food as Art  |  Nitsch Engineering  |  1,535 cans used

Nitsch Engineering took theme of “Eat the Art” literally and designed a sculpture of the most artistic cuisine in the world: sushi!  In the 4th century BC, people in inland China began preserving fish in fermented rice. By the 8th century AD, this tradition reached Japan, where it evolved to include fresh fish and non-fermented rice, thus creating an entirely new cuisine. Modern sushi (i.e. nigiri, which involves draping a fresh slice of fish over an oblong mound of rice) was created in the Kantō region of Japan (which includes Tokyo) in the early 19th century. Since then, sushi has progressed to include more complex rolls (i.e. maki) that rely upon highly trained sushi chefs to create a meal that pleases the palate and the eyes. Using cans of green beans, red beans, black beans, sweet peas, and tomato sauce, our team designed a sushi platter with nigiri and maki on top, chopsticks, and an almost six-foot-tall, three-dimensional bottle of soy sauce. The nigiri, maki, and soy sauce bottle are self-supporting, with strategically placed thin boards to help keep the structures level. The chopsticks are made of cans that are supported by heavy cardboard.