NSAD Students Win Top Prize in Canstruction San Diego 2011 Competition

Team's canned food structure inspired by Occupy Wall Street movement


NSAD Canstruction

A team of 10 NewSchool of Architecture and Design (NSAD) students won the top prize of Juror's Favorite at the Canstruction San Diego competition, held Oct. 20–23. The winning design depicts a toppled bull partially covered by a grass-colored road meant to signify prosperity for all while recognizing the cultural relevance of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The Juror's Favorite category criteria are based on a number of factors including overall theme and best use of labels, according to architect Julie King, chair of Canstruction San Diego. The NSAD team also won in the category of Structural Ingenuity. The team's top marks qualify them to compete next year on the national level against other city team winners in the same categories, said King.

The NSAD students used about 2,000 cans to construct their project. Building the sculpture required several practice run-throughs prior to the actual competition at San Diego's Horton Plaza. "It was a process—we built and rebuilt and we bought all sorts of cans and returned them and bought new cans," said NSAD student Lauren Pasion. To construct the bull, the students used cans of beans that had a brown outer wrap, and the green road was built with cans of sweet peas. Cans of spinach and corn were used to fill the interior of the structure.

The Occupy Wall Street-inspired project competed against depictions of the Hope Diamond, SpongeBob SquarePants and Frankenstein that were created by other San Diego teams. Canstruction is an international effort to raise awareness of hunger issues, utilizing the time and talent of design and construction communities. Teams in cities worldwide build imaginative sculptures out of food cans that are later donated to community food banks. The NSAD students on this year's Canstruction team were: Huda Al-Harithy, Malek Alqadi, John Bonales, Omar Castell, Justin Chang, Justin Crosier, Max Mcilwee, Daniel Ordonez, Lauren Pasion and Jeff Taitano, under the supervision of NSAD faculty member Hussein Munaim.