Third Annual CANstruction Exhibition Begins Superheroic Fight to Smash Hunger

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Photos by Soren Sum.

A plethora of canned goods, coupled with a passion for ending hunger just happens to be the perfect recipe for colossal works of art, better known as "CANstruction," the Post discovered today. 

Story continued below.

The third annual Long Beach competition began this morning at the Landmark Square Building lobby, showcasing the talents of six teams of local architectural and engineering firms.

The teams designed and built unique structures out of canned goods totaling over 20,000 pounds based on this year’s theme “It Doesn’t Take a Superhero to End Hunger.”

Organizer Terri Henry said the teams were able to depict a superhero in any way they wanted. At the event, she pointed out three of six structures that were still in the process of building: a Wonder Woman in the famous Rosie the Riveter pose and a giant Incredible Hulk fist breaking through a wall.

There was even one structure not in the shape of any known character, but of a child superhero breaking through a wall.

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“We decided to take [our design] more literal and not follow a superhero, but instead have a boy who wears a cape,” said C/A Architects team leader Jane Homma. “In our concept, we have a wall that says hunger on the top and have the boy run through it and thinks he conquered hunger.”

Team Moffatt & Nichol thought to create the Incredible Hulk’s fist smashing through a wall specifically to build something that would generate a lot of cans, according to representative and team leader Ari Konyalian who, with his team, has been participating in CANstruction since it began in Long Beach.

“It was our first priority to get a lot of cans to the homeless through Food Finders, so every year we’ve been challenging ourselves to get more participation from ourselves, employees and family members,” Konyalian said.

Members of Kamus + Keller Interiors felt the iconic Rosie the Riveter motto “We Can Do It” would be a perfect combination with a can pun for the theme, said Shandra Johnson, a marketing manager at the company and representative of the Wonder Woman can design.

“We knew we wanted to do a female hero, so it’s a two in one,” Johnson said. “The majority of our firm are women and this felt important to us.”

Other participants included Environ Architecture partnering with California Resources Corp., Alta Vista Solutions, and DPR Construction with HDR Architects.

The completed structures will remain on display for the public to vote on until September 25. For more information, click here.

The Landmark Square Building lobby is located at 111 West Ocean Boulevard in downtown Long Beach.

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