Select Page

Canstruction Pittsburgh 2012 benefiting the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank was a HUGE success. We were able to donate over 12,000 cans, an estimated $11,787 cash value, to help out local families in need. That is up from the 9,000 we donated last year! Great job everyone, I am so proud to be a part of this great event and am already looking forward to next year.

Canstruction Pittsburgh is a chapter of Canstruction National, which was started in 1992 and has since donated over 17.5 MILLION pounds of food to local food banks worldwide. Canstruction Pittsburgh is in its 2nd year and we are thrilled to see it  already growing. Not only is it for a great cause, but it brings great people together, showcases the talent of our local design community and it’s a ton of fun!

It is through the hard work of the teams that we are able to make such generous donations. They design their structures, fundraise, and acquire the cans they will need to build their structures. This year we had seven teams. On Saturday, September 22, the teams came together at One Oxford Centre to build their massive structures. These structures were then on display all week leading up to the gala on Friday the 28th.

During the week, the public was invited to come visit the exhibit and vote for their favorite structures by donating a can of food. At the end of the week, a panel of judges cast their votes for each of the six categories: “Best Meal”, “Juror’s Favorite”, “Best use of labels”, “Best structural integrity” and two “Honorable mention” awards. A special thank you to these judges: Mike Schiller from the GBA, Mark Dietrick from the AIA, Laura Randolph from Pittsburgh food bank, Gino Torrero from Nello / MBA, Sherris Moreira from the Pittsburgh Tote Bag project and Kristin Hlopick from PJ Dick.

The team that swept away the competition, taking 3 of the 6 awards, was “Hope for the Hungry”.

Desmone Architects "Hope for the Hungry"

“Hope for the Hungry” was led by Rebecca Lowe and supported by Joe O’Toole, Paul Eichler, Sarah Hoffmann and Amy McConnell. It took them 4 hours and 2,750 cans to build this massive lighthouse, which they had previously mocked up at Desmone Architects. For their efforts, they were awarded “Best Meal”, “Juror’s Favorite” and “People’s Choice”.

Perkins Eastman Architecture

“CAN-diments”, led by Laurie Butler and supported by Kaleo Young, Brandon Dilla, Jenny Budka, Chris Driscoll, Jessie Latenacci, Nick Miller, Paul Bench, Samantha Hendrickson, Aimee St. Germain, Paul Steidl, Riccardy Volcy and Martin Siefering, took home the award for “Best use of labels”. It took them 2 1/2 hours and 735 cans to build their amazing ketchup and mustard bottles, which were originally modeled in 3D Revit over at Perkins Eastman and scaled from actual bottles.


ASCE Carpenter's Union

“Picnic in CANsburgh”, led by Linda Kaplan and Ricky Okraszewski, and supported by Karen Mueser, Dave Plutt, Nathan Neltner, Paroma Saha and Mike Panzitta, took home the “Best structural integrity” award for their way larger than life picnic basket, wine bottle and cheese. These members of ASCE and the Carpenter’s Union put this together in 4 hours and used 876 cans.


Giant Eagle

“Fuel for Food”, a team made up of Giant Eagle employees led by Lainey Castelli and supported by Denise Polliard, Katie Ward, Jaison Randall and Jill Cheran, took home the award for “Honorable mention”. They built their gas pump (complete with bbq sauce bottle pumps and pepper shaker hoses!) in just 2 hours and used about 1400 cans.



“Heinz Field CANdium”, a team of IIDA PA/NJ/DE members, was led by Jane Hallinan and supported by Whitney Ponczak, Chelsea Alberti and Chelsey Atkins, was also awarded “Honorable mention”. They built their huge stadium in 3 1/2 hours and used 1,500 cans.


Pittsburgh Pirate's logo

“Buc-Hunger” was led by Jason Hindes and supported by Mindy Coblentz, Natale Cozzolongo, Nelly Dacic, Stacey Nemcek and Megan Schleifer. They Constructed their Pirate’s logo, complete with baseball diamond, in 2 1/2 hours and used 974 cans.


IBACOS Heinz ketchup bottle

“CANs’up” was led by Tim Kampert and supported by Kate Angell, Anthony Grisolia and Christina Gliozzi. It took this IBACOS team 2 hours and 824 cans to build their huge heinz bottle.


Check out the rest of the photos from build out day and the gala! And for more information email or visit