It all began about four months ago on a hot June day, the 6th annual CANstruction competition commenced with a kick-off meeting in downtown Minneapolis. CANstuction is an international design competition based on feeding hungry people and displaying public art.
Our team, American Institute of Architecture Students - MN Chapter, was the only student group participating in this year's competition. Unlike architecture firms that had donations and sponsors, we were a non-profit trying to raise money for another non-profit so we considered partnering with a great Minnesota based company, Target. After numerous emails and phone calls, we succeeded and agreed to partner with us! This began a long process of design discussion, can selection, and funding. Pro Tip: Great professional connections are created on projects outside of the classroom.
Our design was based on Harry Potter, hence the title of this blog. Target donated more than 2,793 cans! The majority of the cans were tuna. We had a splendiferous experience visiting sixteen different Targets in three days to acquire all of the cans. The competition was held at the Mall of America on September 24th. We were given all day to construct our design. Being smart architecture students, we had practiced assembling our design in the architecture building prior to the big day. We hadn't taken into consideration that the Mall of America shakes due to the Nickelodeon Universe. No worries: our model stood for three days!
Here is a little blurb about our design selection:
"In 2011 many of us said goodbye to some long time friends, the characters of the Harry Potter film series. In the same way that Harry defeated Voldemort in the final film of the series, we wish to defeat hunger by collecting donations for the Second Harvest Heartland Food Shelf. Harry brought hope to his friends and family in the wizarding community. We want to do the same for our friends and family in the Twin Cities community. One way we can do this is by fighting hunger, a real-life enemy as bad as Voldemort. Help us obliviate hunger."
We won a ribbon for best use of labels! The cans were then donated to the Second Harvest Heartland Food Shelf. Harry's Flight Against Hunger gave back to the community by providing meals and public art. We also had a great time assembling the design while meeting other architects and mall patrons.
Remember to get involved in a student group. The benefits of being an active member in a group are far greater than just being in a group so you have something to put on your resume. Pro Tip: Get involved earlier so you can experience being a member and a leader.