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National Canstruction® Project Kicks Off in Grand Rapids to Benefit Salvation Army

Public Exhibition at Kendall College is March 31–April 3

March 27, 2009

Canstruction is coming to town! The first-ever Canstruction project in Grand Rapids opens to the public on March 31. The metro area joins 40 other U.S. cities participating this year in the innovative design competition to fight hunger. The competition co-sponsored by Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University and the law firm of Miller Canfield benefits the Salvation Army’s Booth Family Services, a member of the ACCESS Pantry Network.

This year’s competition attracted five teams of area architecture, engineering, and design firms. The teams will build sculptures up to 10’x 10’x 8’ in siz e made entirely of canned food. The public is encouraged to view these incredible sculptures on display from March 31 to April 2 from 8 a.m.–7 p.m. and April 3 from 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. in Kendall’s first floor Atrium at 17 Fountain NW, downtown Grand Rapids.

Visitors are also encouraged to vote for The People’s Choice Award. Ballots will be available on-site and the cost is $1.00 or one can of food. At the end of the day on April 3 the People’s Choice Award will be named.

This year’s competition team entries are: Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, Inc.; engineers, scientists, architects, and constructors; Integrated Architecture, Pioneer Construction, and JDH Engineering; entering as one team; Kendall College of Art and Design; student chapter of AIGA, the professional association for design; Kendall College of Art and Design; student competition winner; and Paradigm Design, Inc.; architects and civil engineers.

On March 30, a distinguished panel of judges will determine the winners of “Best Use of Labels,” “Best Meal,” “Structural Ingenuity,” “Juror’s Favorite,” and “Honorable Mention.” This year’s judges are: Mayor George Heartwell, City of Grand Rapids; Gerry Barnaby, on-air personality, WLHT-FM 95.7; Glenn R. Rahn, AIA; DTS + Winkelmann LLC; Jeff York, Principal, Miller Canfield; and Major Ralph Bukiewicz, Divisional Commander, Western Michigan and Northern Indiana Division, The Salvation Army.

Nationally organized, Canstruction helps direct Canstruction projects across the country throughout the year. Canstruction in Grand Rapids is a student-driven design competition in the form of sculptural art led by a Kendall junior student, Interior Design major, Emily Davison. Once the sculptures are ‘de-can-structed,’ all of the food will be donated to the Salvation Army’s Booth Family Services. For more information, and photos of structures from other participating cities, visit

Editor’s note: There will be great visual opportunities this weekend, March 28 and 29, and on Monday, March 30. Media are welcome and encouraged to attend the following events:

Team Build. Saturday, March 28, from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sunday, March 29, from 11 a.m.–7 p.m. in the Atrium at Kendall College at 17 Fountain NW, downtown Grand Rapids. We recommend attending between 2:30–4:30 p.m. on Saturday. On-site contact person is Emily Davison, co-chair of Canstruction.

“A-can-demy Awards” invite-only reception. This will kick-off the weeklong event. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with the announcement of winners and the presentation of awards at 6:00 p.m. On-site contact people: Shirley Hubers, Roger Snider, or Christy Baas.

If interested in attending and for more information, please coordinate with Shirley Hubers, or 616-458-9500; Roger Snider or 616-459-3433 x1183; or Christy Baas, or 313-496-7555.