2011 Canstruction Boston Award Winners


Below are the various winners of the 2011 Canstruction Boston competition.  The event was held over the month of October in various exhibit areas at the Boston Design Center located at 1 Design Center Place in Boston.

Photo by Damianos Photography

Jurors’ Favorite:

Quick Response to Hunger

Nitsch Engineering

Nitsch Engineering designed an eight-foot-tall Quick Response Code (QR Code) to inspire people to make a Quick Reponse to Hunger. Our team used cans of beans and corn to create a large QR Code that, when scanned, will direct people to a page on Nitsch Engineering’s website that includes information on hunger in Massachusetts and how Canstruction helps. The entire sculpture is made of cans, with strategically placed thin boards inside the sculpture to help keep the structure level and maintain stability.







Photo by Damianos Photography

Structural Ingenuity:

Have a Heart:  Help the Hungry

EYP Architecture & Engineering

With a new year, a new home and a new sponsor, Canstruction has inspired our team to get to the heart of the matter. The veins of hunger run throughout the Massachusetts area, depriving children and adults of nutrients that are essential to leading a healthy life. Our EYP blood tracks deep in the CANstruction tradition, and this year our team went to work without missing a beat. We have designed an anatomical heart to remind people of our physical need for a balanced diet to keep our blood pumping and our bodies moving. The muscle of our heart consists of 828 cans of Hunt’s Tomato Sauce, with red veins pumping 654 Hunt’s Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce cans to the body and blue veins returning 956 Goya Tomato Sauce cans to the heart. The anatomy of our heart totals 2,438 cans. The structure is entirely self- supporting, using only 1/8” chipboard to aid in leveling the cans.




Photo by Damianos Photography

Best Use of Labels:

The Canley Cup

CUBE 3 Studio

In honor of the Boston Bruins’ first Stanley Cup victory in 39 years, CUBE 3 Studio presents the Canley Cup, comprised mainly of Le Sueur and Chicken of the Sea cans. These can choices deliver not only stunning silver labels, but their versatility lends to great meal combinations and nutritional value. The “Spoked-B” Boston Bruins Logo consists of cans filled with beans. After all, Boston is Beantown, USA.

The Canstruction of The Canley Cup includes nothing more than cans and 1/4 inch plywood to create stability between layers. The “Spoked-B” uses cans on edge and the tears of Vancouver to hold itself together.






Photo by Damianos Photography

Friend of the Food Bank (Best Meal):

Play With Your Food?

Prellwitz Chilinski Associates (PCA)

Like the CANstruction competition, the Blue Man Group makes food fun! Unlike the marshmallows and Cap’n Crunch cereal Blue Men use in their skits, the “Play With Your Food?” sculpture provides a variety of healthful soups and vegetables to encourage a well-balanced diet. The majority of the head is made from 1080 blue Progresso soups on the exterior with an internal structure of 1080 green bean & corn cans, leveled by foamcore and %“ plywood. The overall sculpture provides a variety of low-calorie, low-sodium, and vegetable-rich options for a warm meal to fight the hunger blues. As for the 432 cans of Vienna Sausages? Let’s just say they appeal to our whimsical side.






Photo by Damianos Photography

Honorable Mention:

Helping to Hop Past Hunger

Northeastern University & Wiss, Janney, Elstner (WJE)

Given the absence of a theme, we were able to draw purely upon the creativity of our team to come up with an inspiration and design for our structure. A group member’s recent forage into Costa Rican rain forests ultimately proved to be the inspiration for the structure that was to resemble a remarkably colorful frog that he had seen. This frog had bright red eyes marked by slit-like pupils. Its green body was highlighted by light green/yellow stripes along its back with a bright yellow and orange belly with varying blue markings. The body, legs, and head were a vivid green with a definitive jaw line marked by an abrupt transition from green to white.


Photo by Damianos Photography

Honorable Mention:

3…2…1:  Blast-off Against Hunger!

Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger (SGH)

2011 saw the retirement of NASA’s iconic Space Shuttle program, but unfortunately, not the end of hunger in America. In this self-supporting sculpture constructed entirely of canned foods, SGH presents a homage to America’s space program and the shuttles that ferried dozens of astronauts to and from outer space. We used % in. plywood leveling layers to keep the structure flat as the cans built up, but otherwise have used only canned goods to present our interpretation of an amazing scientific and engineering feat— the space shuttles that launched brave men and women into the unknown beyond our earth’s atmosphere in search of answers to some of life’s biggest questions.






Photo by Damianos Photography

People’s Choice:

The Hood Milk Bottle

Margulies Peruzzi Architects

For the past 34 years, the architectural roadside Hood Milk Bottle has been perched at Museum Wharf, serving as the unofficial gateway to Fort Point Channel.

The Hood Milk Bottle was built by Arthur Gagner of Taunton, MA, to dispense the homemade ice cream he produced.  Standing 40 feet tall and weighing more than 15,000 lbs the Milk Bottle was one of America’s first fast-food drive-in restaurants and an authentic example of the “Coney Island” style of architecture.  If real, it could hold 58,620 gallons of milk.

The Milk Bottle stood as a landmark on Route 44 in Taunton until it was abandoned in 1967.  It was left in disrepair for years until Hood purchased the rotting structure, rescuing it from oblivion.  Hood had the bottle refurbished and donated to the Boston Children’s Museum.  In 1977 the Milk Bottle was placed aboard the barge for its “Great Bottle Sail” through Boston Harbor to the Museum Wharf, now Children’s Museum, at 300 Congress Street, where it serves as a destination landmark delighting millions of people from around the world and the City of Boston.

Today, MPA has undertaken the spirit of nutrition, taste and is using the artistic simplicity of this unassuming white and red icon, to create our entry for the 2011 Boston Canstruction. This structure’s core and exterior are loaded with nutritious Food Bank staples such as vegetables, broth and beans. The exterior red accent colors, awnings and logo; are of pasta sauces — other Food Bank necessities. Just as Hood set out to feed others with their kitschy symbolic structure, we hope to feed many meals with our own homage to roadside architecture in America.


Photo by Damianos Photography

Director’s Choice and Canstruction Resilience:

Angry Birds (formerly Despicable Hunger)

CBT Architects

Due to a shipping error, CBT did not have enough cans to complete their original sculpture idea: two large-scale models of the yellow minions from the movie Despicable Me. However, thanks to their ingenuity and the generosity of the other teams, CBT was able to gather enough cans to create an entirely new structure based on everyone’s favorite mobile game: Angry Birds.



Best Sign:

Help Us… Help Others

Symmes Maini & McKee Associates (SMMA)

We have used over 3,000 cans of soups and vegetables to replicate the logo of this year’s recipient of the CANstruction Boston’s 2011 donation — The Merrimack Valley Food Bank. The Food Bank, which first started as the Lowell Food Bank, was established in 1991 and since has developed many programs and services for the surrounding communities. They currently support a program aimed at providing food to pie-k through 4th grade Lowell students. 1,130 cans of sweet peas make up the milk carton, 1,460 cans of chicken noodle soup make up the bread loaf, and 570 cans of cream of mushroom soup and cream of celery soup make up the cherry can. Building these three elements for you to admire has helped us… help others.


Photo by Damianos Photography

Take the Cake Award:

Angry Birds