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Wednesday, November 17, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 62

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An uncanny contest

Architecture college project helps the needy

By Audrey Warren
Senior Staff Writer

We don't like hunger here or there.
We don't like hunger anywhere!
Would you feed them if you could?
Would you feed them yummy food?
You can do it! You will see!
Build with cans and so will we!

That catchy take on Dr. Seuss' "Green Eggs and Ham," displayed on a storyboard near one of 12 exhibits in the Hines College of Architecture's 1999 CANstruction competition, perhaps sums the event up better than anything else.


The 12 CANstruction exhibits, part of a national architecture contest that will benefit the needy, are on display through Friday in the College of Architecture's atrium.

George Sebring/The Daily Cougar

In its third year running, the competition, intended to "CANstruct a world without hunger," pits architecture firms and schools against each other in a contest to build the most creative exhibit using only canned and boxed foods.

The "Green Eggs and Ham" entry from the architecture firm of Jackson & Ryan, for example, uses bags of pinto beans and cans of green beans to create eggs, and different-colored bags of flour to symbolize ham.

The other 11 entries are no less creative. Next to a racing car constructed from cans of Campbell's vegetable soup, cranberry sauce, Spam and pineapple juice, an easel bears the slogan "E-Race the Hunger with Bammel Middle School and the Pit Crew."


George Sebring/The Daily Cougar


A replica of the Astrodome -- complete with a baseball diamond -- is among the constructions of cans and food boxes on display in the College of Architecture.

And nearby, a "Souper Bowl" exhibit features a football field built of cracker boxes and bleachers made of spaghetti boxes.

Firms were responsible for obtaining their own supply of canned goods, but stores like HEB and Kroger helped participants by offering discounts or by selling cans at or a little above wholesale price, Marsha Jones, local contest chairwoman, said.

Ribbons are given for favorite construction, best meal, structural ingenuity, best use of label and two honorable mentions. The judging will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday, followed by a gala party.

Forty-seven cities across the country participate in the event. After all the competitions are held, local winners go on to compete nationally by submitting slides of their work to a national panel of jurors.

After the exhibits are taken down during Friday's "decanstruction," all the building materials will be donated to the Houston Food Bank along with any leftover money.

"It is one of the most satisfying things I've ever done professionally," Jones said.

The creations will be on display through Friday in the College of Architecture atrium.
 

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