“Canstruction” helps Sandy victims and the needy


Teams of architects, engineers and designers participated to the 20th annual New York City “Canstruction” competition yesterday, in Lower Manhattan’s World Financial Center.

Creations have ranged from gravity defying beehives to spaceships, balloon dogs and enormous cupcakes made entirely of unopened food cans, destined to be given to Sandy victims and other hungry New Yorkers at the end of the exhibit.

Sara Jazayeri, 44, of Riverdale in the Bronx, is an architect at Studio 360 Architects also in Riverdale. The firm was one of the 25 teams that participated.

“It’s all about awareness, you don’t have to go to Africa to find hungry people, there are 2000 homeless children right here in New York.” Jazayeri said.

Jazayeri also participated in the construction contest last year.

“Everything has to be easily taken apart,” she said. “You can’t use glue or remove the labels as the people that they will be given to need to see what they are”

Canstruction was scheduled to take place in early November, but was cancelled because of the superstorm.  But the disaster has only made the builders and organizers even more eager to make this 20th anniversary a bigger and better event than the previous years.

Angela Bernhardt, 50 of Nyack, NY was chaperoning her daughter’s class trip to the contest.

“The school can drive is happening at the same time,” she said.  “Kids are encouraged to give and be concerned about people in need.  Then they come here to bring cans and see the creativity at the same time. ”

The kids got to draw their favorite sculptures, learned about how many cans were used to build them and how many people each one will help.

“I like it, it’s fun” Catrina Bernhardt said as she cautiously drew a giant beehive made of mushroom cans, honey and rice.

The entry to the exhibit is free, but each visitor is invited to bring an unopened can of food to participate in the effort. Each of Catrina’s classmates brought a can and added it to the pile in the deposit box at the entrance of the exhibit.

All the cans will be given to the City Harvest at the end of the exhibit on February 11.

“It’s a different way to help,” Berhardt said.





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