For the fifth straight year, a team of students from the School of Architecture will compete in the Capital Region CANstruction event. The Rensselaer team is one of only two student teams participating in the annual competition at the New York State Museum (the other is from Russell Sage).
Twelve teams from local engineering and architecture firms will compete against the students for awards like “structural ingenuity,” “best use of labels,” and “best meal.” In 2013, the Rensselaer team won top marks for structural ingenuity for their scene from The Wizard of Oz that was complete with a giant tornado. The year before, they won best use of labels in the zoo-themed competition when they crafted a colorful peacock out of cans.
The theme for this year’s event, which is a benefit for Food Pantries for the Capital Region Inc., is “PLAY,” which can represent anything from a sport to a board game to an instrument.
“We decided to have some fun in the sun and build a beach-themed structure that we’ve aptly titled ‘Let’s Build a CANcastle’ (we love our can puns!),” said Dillon Webster, a fifth-year student in the School of Architecture who is leading this year’s CANstruction team.
The Rensselaer team used a variety of food items to create its colorful entry, including canned chicken breast, garbanzo beans, black beans, green beans, beets, peaches, Sloppy Joe mix, pumpkin puree, chicken broth, beef broth, water bottles, and rice, Webster said.
The theme for this year’s event, which is a benefit for Food Pantries for the Capital Region Inc., is “PLAY.” We decided to have some fun in the sun and build a beach-themed structure that we’ve aptly titled ‘Let’s Build a CANcastle’.”—Dillon Webster
“Our main components are a sandcastle made of garbanzo beans and a large backdrop showing a sunset and a palm tree. We also have a beach ball, surfboard, and little shark fin among ‘water’ (water bottles) and ‘sand’ (bags of rice),” said Webster.
The rest of the CANstruction team includes Victoria Bell, Adam Beres, Carolyn Chalfant, Jessica Collier, Kendall DeMarco, Tori Flahive, Jessica Gentile, Jenna Kulek, Jessica Krajewski, Ryan Kresser, Katherine Lundberg, Amy Lam, Cody Seipp, Danielle Signor, Abby Speight-Robitalle, Emily Sulanoski, and Elaine Zhang. Faculty members Bill Bergman (Fabrication Shop) and Mark Mistur also participated.
Typically, competitors come together at the State Museum for an intense “build day” to create their displays. Since the actual build day for this year’s event was scheduled during the Rensselaer spring break, Webster said, “the coordinators were kind enough to move it a bit earlier so that we could still be involved.” The team put its display together on March 1.
The sculptures will be up on display at the State Museum from March 16 to March 30, during which time patrons can bring cans to vote for their favorite structures, all of which will be donated to the food pantries. At the end of the period, the sculpture with the most donated cans wins a Community Favorite Award.
The Rensselaer team has raised nearly $2,000 through a series of fundraisers. To contribute, please visit the Canstruction giving page.