September 4, 2014

Washington, DC – Michael Baker International and other notable engineering and architectural companies participated in the 2014 Canstruction events in Washington, DC, as twenty-eight participating teams gathered at the National Building Museum to build enormous game-inspired cansculptures® ranging from childhood toys and treats to traditional game show favorites.  Presented and sponsored by the Washington Architectural Foundation, the theme presented to the public this year is Play With Your Food.  Made up of over 65,000 cans, the sculptures created this year are on display through September 5 and after the displays are taken down, all cans will be donated to the Capital Area Food Bank for local communities.

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Photos courtesy of Michael Baker International. Front: Michelle Schuneman, Gillian Schuneman, Beatriz Perez, Zachary Schuneman, Dan Whitesides, Susan Garcia, Madeleine Garcia; back row: Jeffery Jerrels, Andrea Ryon, Chip Rosenberg, Sally Parker, Michael Buck, Cole Miles, Angie Shineldecker.

Canstruction® has grown from a New York-based competition in 1992 to an international competition showcasing colossal structures made of canned foods involving design and construction industry in over 150 cities across the world.  Every local winner goes on to compete, internationally via digital photography.  Official award categories include: Honorable Mention, Juror’s Favorite, Best Meal, Peoples Choice, Best Use of Labels and Structural Integrity. 

After the structures are built, the cansculptures® go on display to the public as a giant art exhibition. At the end of the event, all food is donated to local hunger relief organizations.  Recognized for commitment to innovation, hunger relief  and collaboration, Canstruction’s work has helped raise over 25 million pounds of food since 1992 and continues to impact communities across the world.

In 2013, Canstruction® events across the world donated over 4.7 million pounds of food serving 3.9 million meals to families and communities.

Andrea Ryon, P.E., PMP, CFM, D.WRE, Vice President at Michael Baker International in Alexandria, Virginia offices remarked:

“This was Baker’s second year participating in Canstruction in support of the Washington Architectural Foundation and the Capital Area Food Bank.  The event had a great theme this year, “Play with your Food” which resulted in a wide variety of structures being built.  Our team really enjoyed the process from brainstorming ideas, to designing our treehouse, to the actual “construction”.  We also want to make a difference in the communities we serve.  All of the cans are donated to the Capital Area Food Bank, a wonderful cause that we’re pleased to support!! 

Also, you couldn’t ask for a better venue than the National Building Museum, which is a fantastic space.  One of the museum’s current displays is “Designing for Disaster.”  Several Baker employees participated with one of the sponsors, the ASFPM Foundation.”

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From left: Andrea Ryon, Gretchen Pfaehler, Angie Shineldecker, Dan Whitesides.

Michael Baker International’s cansculpture this year was the CANopy Treehouse, which was recognized for Honorable Mention in the design contest and was featured by the Washington Post.  Other notable engineering and architectural firms that participated are Dewberry, Stantec, URS Corporation, HDR Architecture, HKS, The SK&A Group, Sorg Architects, and McKissack & McKissack. 

Some of the facts related to hunger are: 842 Million people in the world are under nourished, 49 million Americans are food insecure and over 21% of children live in food insecure households.

Canstruction® partners with the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) and Society for Design Administration (SDA) to host its events.  Canstruction® events are held annually in over 150 cities around the world including North America, Australia, South America, Europe and Asia and its mission is to feed and inspire the world – one can at a time. 

Canstruction events are being held throughout 35 cities in the U.S. thru end of 2014.

>For listing of participating cities and information on Canstruction events.