August 12, 2014 08:05 ET

Canstruction 2014 Begins August 23 in DC With 'Play With Your Food'

28 Giant Game-Inspired Can Sculptures Will Be 'Canstructed' On-Site at the National Building Museum, on Public View Through September 5

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - Aug 12, 2014) - Canstruction is back in the District! The nationwide event -- which is presented in DC by the Washington Architectural Foundation -- challenges teams of architecture, engineering, and other design professionals to "play with their food" and construct themed sculptures using stacked canned goods. The cans are then donated to the Capital Area Food Bank.

This year's theme "Play With Your Food" turns the childhood admonition on its head. A record 28 teams will use cans of food to recreate giant versions of classic toys and games including chess pieces, roller skates, and tree houses. The theme celebrates the National Building Museum's architectural toy collection, which is composed of 2,300 objects dating from the 1860s to the 1990s.

After the massive toys spend time on view at the Museum, a panel of notable judges will give awards for "Juror's Favorite," "Structural Ingenuity," "Best Meal," "Best Use of Labels," and the new addition "Most Cans."

It's all good fun with a serious message: to raise awareness about hunger in the DC area. Collected cans are donated to the Capital Area Food Bank. Last year, Canstruction collected 56,000 pounds of food -- equivalent to nearly 42,000 meals -- and $8,000 from online "People's Choice" votes, where one dollar equals one vote.

"The Foundation is excited to be presenting the 16th year of Canstruction in Washington," said Mary Fitch, Executive Vice President of the Washington Architectural Foundation. "We have a record number of teams, generous sponsors, and all-star judges coming together to help the Capital Area Food Bank in a vital time. I can't wait to see how it all comes together."

"Canstruction is a fun and creative way to engage the community in the struggle against hunger," said Christel Hair, Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships and Community Engagement at the Capital Area Food Bank. "We are grateful to all the participants for helping us raise awareness and donating nutritious shelf stable food items for families, children, and seniors in need."

The public and press are invited to watch the sculptures take shape on Saturday, August 23, from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. The imaginative sculptures will then be on public display in the Museum's Great Hall through September 5; the jury event is on September 3 and "deCanstruction" is on September 6.

What you can do:

  • See the sculptures as they're built on Saturday, August 23, from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm, and exhibited through September 5 at the National Building Museum. Registration required:
  • Vote for your favorite sculpture beginning August 23 by voting online or donating canned goods to the "ballot box" displayed in front of each sculpture at the event. The team with the most cans/votes wins the coveted "People's Choice Award."

Canstruction 2014 - "Play With Your Food"

National Building Museum, 401 F Street NW, Washington, DC

Build Out: Saturday, Aug. 23, from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sculptures on View: Saturday, August 23 - Friday, September 5
Awards Reception: Wednesday, September 3

For more information, please visit:
Washington Architectural Foundation:
Capital Area Food Bank:
National Building Museum: 

Canstruction is an international trademarked competition held under the auspices of the Society for Design Administration. For more information visit

Canstruction sponsors: National Building Museum, NCARB, NRI, TW Perry, Safeway, Erin Kelleher Photography.

About the Washington Architectural Foundation:
Founded by the Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA|DC) in 1988, the Washington Architectural Foundation's mission is: "Making a difference in the community by design." At the Foundation's heart are its volunteers: dedicated architects, engineers, and other design professionals who lend their time, creativity, and expertise to dynamic design education programs and pro bono design services. For more information, visit

About AIA|DC:
The Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA|DC) advances the value of architecture for our members, our profession, and our community providing advocacy, leadership and resources for architects to design a better world. Founded in 1887, AIA|DC serves the Nation's Capital. The Chapter was intimately involved in the design and planning of Washington, and continues to play an active role in city development today. For more information, visit

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