For the first time in its 10-year history, NeoCon East will partner with AIA Baltimore to host Canstruction, a design and build competition for the architecture and design community to create inspired structural designs made entirely of canned food. Since 1992, Canstruction has contributed over 17.5 million pounds of food to community food banks demonstrating that we can win the fight against hunger.
Themed “Boos and Ghouls of Baltimore,” the structures will be on display on the NeoCon East show floor, near the theater, October 17-18 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Once the competition is complete, the structures will be deconstructed and all the canned food will be donated to the Maryland Food Bank. In its 4-year history, AIA Baltimore's participation in Canstruction has given the Maryland Food Bank a total of more than 60,000 pounds of food and over $5000 in cash donations.
“There are 460,000 people in the Maryland Food Bank’s service area who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. This is a huge issue and we must constantly think creatively and pursue innovation to get more food out to those who need it," said Maryland Food Bank President & CEO Deborah Flateman. "We love Canstruction because it mirrors our own commitment to creativity, and is enormously effective in raising both awareness and resources to fight hunger. We’re grateful for the support from NeoCon East and AIA Baltimore and can’t wait to see what the teams come up with!”
The competition will feature three teams supported by MMPI, and sponsored by Altro Floor and Wall Systems, Arcadia, and Groupe Lacasse, who will contribute up to $1,000 per team to build the canned goods structures. This year's teams include renowned Baltimore firms, Ayes Saint Gross Architects and Hord Coplan Macht, as well as a team comprised of aspiring future architects from Howard County PSS - Architectural Design Academy. Each team is responsible for designing and building their sculpture in an 8x8 space, located on the show floor, near the theater.
“NeoCon East is proud to participate in this noteworthy cause. The city of Baltimore has graciously welcomed the architecture and design community to NeoCon East for the past ten years, and we are excited to be able to give back to the community and support the Maryland Food Bank,” said Mark Falanga, president and CEO, Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc.
In addition to the massive Canstruction displays, attendees at NeoCon East will be able to get involved in this philanthropic effort by participating in “NeoCon East Canucopia.” The goal of the Canucopia initiative is to collect 200 pounds of food in two days. All NeoCon East exhibitors and attendees were asked to donate one can of non-perishables to the Maryland Food Bank. NeoCon East will be accepting food donations in the Upper Pratt Street Lobby, Level 300, near registration.