Playing With Your Food

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Hartman-Cox Architect’s Mr. Potato Head design screams, “Fry and stop me!”

Hartman-Cox Architect’s Mr. Potato Head design screams, “Fry and stop me!”

Whether you’re a parent reprimanding poor behavior, a child receiving disgruntling advice, or a restaurant-goer simply trying to enjoy your meal in peace, chances are you’re familiar with the phrase “Don’t play with your food!”

This summer, however, the Washington Architectural Foundation and the Society for Design Administration are instructing DC architectural and design firms to do just the opposite. Using the theme “Play with your Food,” the firms will design and “Canstruct” sculptures out of non-perishable goods for Canstruction 2014 at the National Building Museum. At the end of the competition, commonly referred to as decanstruction, all of the canned goods will be donated to the Capital Area Food Bank.

Teams will duke it out with the hopes of earning the pride and bragging rights that accompany the various awards given out by the judges. Six different awards will be distributed this year, including an award for the structure with the best nutritional value, as well as one for the Cansculpture with the most structural ingenuity.

In order to win the most prestigious award of them all—the People’s Choice award—teams will need to appeal to the passionate and always critical Canstruction fan base. Building Museum visitors may vote for their favorite Cansculpture by donating non-perishables in a bin placed in front of each structure (one can = one vote), or they may donate online to their favorite team’s fundraising page ($1 = one vote).

While Canstruction doesn’t officially begin until August 23, most teams have already invested countless hours and brain cells into CAD designs and 3D models of their structures. The various teams’ fundraising pages are proof that this year’s competition is going to be tough. WDG Architecture’s Battleship looks unsinkable… but then again Hartman-Cox Architect’s Mr. Potato Head design screams, “Fry and stop me!”

Cansculptures will be on display from August 24 through September 5, and it will be exciting to see what the competitors will bring to the table. May the best CANs win!

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