Canstruction competition brings the heat

UM’s Center for Urban and Community Design is hosting a “Canstruction” competition on Friday afternoon, pitting teams of students, faculty, staff and alumni against each other to design and build structures out of full cans of food.

When the contest is over, all cans will be donated to needy local families before Thanksgiving and the Coral Gables Museum will exhibit some of the pieces.

“There are more needy people nowadays,” said Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, dean of the School of Architecture and one of the event judges. “This is the second year we are involved and I hope this year will exceed last year’s success.”

The UM event is one of about 130 Canstruction competitions taking place in North America, Australia and other countries around the globe as part of a worldwide fight against hunger.

For the UM competition, the total number of cans will be distributed equally among the teams. The building will take place from noon to 2 p.m. Friday in the School of Architecture Courtyard and the judging will take place immediately afterward.

Brian Lemmerman, a graduate of the architecture school who is working on the competition, encourages all UM students to participate by donating at least three cans of food. The competition is not just for architecture students.

“It’s available to everyone and we need to know how many people are going to join so the dean can bring pizza,” Lemmerman said.

Anyone who would like to donate or participate should call the CUCD by 4 p.m. Thursday at 305-284-3439 or email

People may bring their can donations to the event or drop them off ahead of time in the School of Architecture at Glasgow Hall, Korach Gallery, CUCD office or the Academic Services office.

UM senior Michael Geller, an architecture major who participated last year, is looking forward to the competition.

“Hopefully it’s going to be better than last year,” he said.