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check back soon for Canstruction 2019 info!

Benefiting the Greater Chicago Food Depository


- Every $1 donated provides 3 meals -

Canstruction is a unique world wide charity which hosts competitions, exhibitions, and events showcasing colossal structures made entirely out of full cans of food.

Canstruction Chicago (under the umbrella of Canstruction) is a design/build event which benefits the Greater Chicago Food Depository (Food Depository). Teams comprised of professionals from the AEC industry fundraise for, design, and build structures composed of non-perishable food items. These “Cansculptures” are housed in the first floor of the Merchandise Mart and are on display to the public as a giant art exhibition. The “Cansculptures” are judged in various categories by a celebrity chef and prominent members of the AEC industry. Canstruction Chicago culminates in an awards presentation and cocktail party at the Merchandise Mart.

We invite you to click here to see photos of previous years' Canstruction Build Nights and ChicagoCAN awards reception.

In 2017, Canstruction Chicago collected over 120,797 lbs of non-perishable items for the Food Depository’s network of 700 soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, and programs throughout Cook County. This will provide 100,664 meals for the 1 in 6 men, women and children whom the Food Depository serve annually. Canstruction Chicago is the Food Depository’s largest one-day food drive event of the year.







2018 Sponsorship Opportunities

Benefiting the Greater Chicago Food Depository | August 15 – September 9, 2018

We are actively seeking 2018 sponsors. If you are interested, or would like more information, please contact us at canstructionchicago@gmail.com. 

Download the 2018 Canstruction Sponsorship Opportunities (over $1000) HERE

Download the 2018 Canstruction Support Opportunities Packet (up to $1000) HERE. 

For additional information, please contact:

  • Paul Le BeauFund Development, Greater Chicago Food Depository, (773) 843-7777, plebeau@gcfd.org
  • Kelsey KirkleyCanstruction Chicago Committee, AIA Chicago, (312) 376-2760, kkirkley@aiachicago.org



Each year, the efforts of our teams are highlighted at ChicagoCAN,  our charity cocktail and awards reception. The 2018 event will be held in the South Lobby of the Merchandise Mart on Thursday, August 23, 5:30-8pm. Awards start at 6pm. <<BUY TICKETS TODAY>> All are welcome!

Teams competing in Chicago have the opportunity to take home an award in any of this year’s six categories:

Best Meal The food items used in the structure could create a tasty meal

Best Use of Labels Clever and artistic use of the labels' color and design.

Structural Ingenuity Pushes the limits of gravity and physics to turn a basic can of food into a structure that makes you say, “WOW, how did they do that?”

Most Cans Used The award for the biggest donation to the GCFD

Best Original Design Award for the most creative and well-executed design

People’s Choice: Determined by you, the people! Vote online here starting August 16, 2018.

All teams' builds are submitted for consideration for the International Canstruction awards. 2017 saw two winners from Chicago! See all the winners HERE

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  • Matt Dvorak, Co-Chair, Primera Engineers
  • Katie Miller, Co-Chair, IA Interior Architects
  • Steve Carroll, REX Electric
  • Erik Graves, Greater Chicago Food Depository
  • Nikki Jeffers, Smithgroup
  • Kelsey Kirkley, AIA Chicago
  • Jessica Ou, Greater Chicago Food Depository
  • Paul Le Beau, Greater Chicago Food Depository
  • Brandi Morlen
  • Kristin Pabst, theMart
  • Brian Wesolowski, GHA Engineers
  • Myra Zeyzus, Webb deVlam

E-mail us at canstructionchicago@gmail.com

The Greater Chicago Food Depository, Chicago’s food bank, is a nonprofit food distribution and training center providing food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in our community. The Food Depository, founded in 1979, makes a daily impact across Cook County with a network of 700 pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, mobile programs, children’s programs, older adult programs and innovative responses that address the root causes of hunger. Last year, the Food Depository distributed 71 million pounds of shelf-stable food, fresh produce, dairy products and meat, the equivalent of 164,000 meals every day. For more information, visit chicagosfoodbank.org or call 773-247-FOOD.

The American Institute of Architects Chicago (AIA Chicago) is the largest chapter of licensed architects, architectural interns, and allied professionals within AIA Illinois, and the second largest AIA chapter in the country. AIA Chicago offers lectures and continuing education courses; numerous award programs; specialized, issue-specific Knowledge Communities; advocacy for architects; daily communications online and through its in-house magazine, Chicago Architect; and help for consumers looking for an architect. As a resource for its members in service to society, AIA Chicago promotes positive change through the power of design. For more information, visit aiachicago.org



Canstruction, Inc. is an international non profit organization headquartered in Atlanta, GA. Visit the Corporate website at www.canstruction.org

Canstruction was founded in 1992 by the late Cheri Melillo and her colleagues from the Society for Design Administration (SDA). Melillo was first inspired by the notion of Canstruction through trial competitions held in SDA offices in Denver, CO and Seattle, WA. Cheri created a Canstruction New York City chapter and held the first official Canstruction Competition in New York City on November 13, 1993.

Canstruction® has grown from a New York-based competition to an international competition involving the entire design and construction industry in over 150 cities across the world. Every local winner goes on to compete, internationally via digital photography. Official award categories include: Honorable Mention, Juror’s Favorite, Best Meal, Peoples Choice, Best Use of Labels and Structural Integrity. Recognized for our commitment to innovation, hunger reliefand collaboration, our work has helped raise over 21 million pounds of food since 1992 and continues to impact communities across the world.

Our Mission:  To feed and inspire the world – one can at a time.

Visit the Canstruction, Inc. Corporate website at www.canstruction.org for more information.

ChicagoCAN Charity Cocktail + Awards Reception

Thanks for another great year!

Visit our Facebook page and gallery to see the 2018 winners


Voting is currently closed.