Behind the scenes at Canstruction LA

West
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
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Gensler and Arup's camera-inspired "Can-on Picture a World Without Hunger." (Tom Bonner)

Gensler and Arup's camera-inspired "Can-on Picture a World Without Hunger." (Tom Bonner)

AN recently took a sneak peak at late night preparations for the fifth annual Canstruction LA, a charitable design competition—whose pieces are currently on display in the lobby of 5900 Wilshire Boulevard— that taps teams of architects, designers, builders and engineers to create large-scale sculptures using canned goods (and even a few water bottles) that will eventually be donated to the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank. What we found was a furor of activity, many boxes of pizza, and a bit of competitive banter among teams. “It’s like Christmas morning,” said Damian Carroll, one of the founders of Canstruction LA. The eight teams worked way past their normal office hours putting together their closely guarded designs. “You’ll see them, going to peek  at the other ones and thinking, ‘What are they building? What is that thing?’” said Carroll.  And how do these firms get all these cans? “You get to know the store managers really well,” said Cassandra Coffin of HKS Architects, the team that brought a yellow-skinned Despicable Me minion to life this year.

This year’s awards went to:

JURORS’ FAVORITE: “Can-on Picture a World Without Hunger” by Gensler and Arup

Defending champions Gensler and Arup used more than 4,000 cans for their larger- -than-life DSLR camera. They also stepped up their game by incorporating a live feed and a viewfinder that displays messages about hunger.

STRUCTURAL INGENUITY: “CANcave/CANvex” by HMC Architects and Buro Happold Engineers

The Richard Serra sculptures housed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art across the street inspired these architects and engineers as they gave life to this undulating, complex shape.

BEST MEAL: “Not So Hungry Hungry Hippo” by RTKL Associates

This entry that plays off a popular children’s game comprise of a pasta course, a fish entrée, vegetable sides and even fruit for dessert.

BEST USE OF LABELS: “CANucopia” by Perkins & Will

Choosing cans with labels in natural tones, Perkins & Will recalled the bounty of nature.

Find out what the other teams have in store and vote for the last remaining award: Cheri Melillo People’s Favorite Award. 5900 Wilshire Boulevard is across the street from LACMA at the lobby of the Variety building until November 6. Admission is free, but bringing a can for donation is highly encouraged.

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