WPI Students Build Replica of Chinese Shopping Center From Cans

Donation of $20,000 of canned food for Canstruction display to go to hunger relief organizations

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A team of 10 students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute's (WPI) Architectural Engineering program have built a replica of Beijing's Galaxy Soho shopping center entirely out of food cans, to be on display at the American Society of Civil Engineers' Structures Congress 2014 in Boston.

Canstruction is an international charitable organization that sponsors competitions and events featuring all kinds of structures built from cans of food. In the competition, teams of students build structures from canned food. After the structures have been displayed, the food will be donated to local food banks and homeless shelters.


Thursday and Friday, April 3 and 4. The sculptures can be viewed until 3 p.m. on Friday, when awards will be announced.


The display will be located at the American Society of Civil Engineers Structures Congress 2014, in booths 304 and 305 in the Sheraton Boston Hotel exhibition hall.


The president of Daniel O'Connell's Sons, the architectural firm that designed Gateway Park and built the new WPI residential hall on Faraday Street in Worcester, supplied the team with $20,000 to purchase canned food needed for the sculpture. The funding was used to purchase 1,825 cans of beans, 1,825 cans of chickpeas, 8,300 cans of tuna, 360 cans of corn, and 150 cans of mushrooms that are incorporated in the sculpture.

WPI's Team Gompei will compete with teams from Brown and Northeastern universities. Each group is allowed to build within a designated area 10 feet by 10 feet, and eight feet in height. All cans used will eventually go to the Merrimack Valley Food Bank.

Other Information

Canstruction is a charity that hosts competitions, exhibitions and events showcasing colossal structures made entirely out of full cans of food. After the structures are built, the creations go on display to the public as a giant art exhibition. At the end of the event, all food is donated to local hunger relief organizations. Its work has helped raise more than 21 million pounds of food since 1992. Canstruction events are held annually in over 150 cities around the world including North America, Australia, South America, Europe and Asia. The competition is supported by Autodesk, makers of AutoCAD software.