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EUA’s 2022 Canstruction Team Earns Three Awards

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What do you call a supportive toucan? A YOUcan!

EUA’s 2022 Canstruction build team poses in front of its completed structure.

Toucans and teamwork were the keys to EUA’s award-winning entry to the 2022 Canstruction competition at the Milwaukee Public Library on December 10. Titled “[Tou]CAN Dream: Teamwork Makes the Dream Work,” EUA’s structure of 3,833 cans depicts two toucans connected by beak cantilevers.

Sponsored by AIA Milwaukee, Wisco NOMA, and Women in Design Milwaukee, the event challenged eight teams of local architects, engineers, and designers to build large structures made of canned food items. The structures remained on display at the library through January 17, 2023.

The teams competed for awards in six categories, including best meal, structural ingenuity, best original design, most cans, best use of labels, and people’s choice. EUA’s toucans claimed three: best original design, structural ingenuity, and most cans.

“Everything went exceptionally well with only one hiccup of needing to deconstruct two layers to get the coloring more accurate,” said Kelsey Webb, Canstruction team leader and project specialist at EUA. “After completing a full-scale test build earlier in the week, our team was striving for perfection.”

Canstruction is an international hunger relief charity that raises millions of pounds of food each year. Teams in cities worldwide purchase canned food items and use them to build structures known as “CanArt.” The cans are then donated to local food banks – in this case, Milwaukee’s Jewish Community Pantry.

“Beyond our feelings of accomplishment and success is a resounding sense of gratitude to everyone who donated to the cause and supported the team in various ways,” said Webb.

In addition to the team members who designed and built EUA’s entry, many more contributed to fundraising efforts. The firm chipped in as well by matching its employees’ contributions. The team has nearly $1,400 to purchase cans for the 2023 event.