CSArch Joins CANstruction for the 6th Year

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CSArch has participated in CANstruction since the first year, making this their 6th time on the 4th floor.  Team Captain Kyle Smith, shared “Throughout the years we have not only raised money, participated in the design competition and donated thousands of cans but we have also met with local food pantries and handed out the food that were donated because of this event.  It is an amazing experience to be able to help the community from start to finish.”

This year their team worked with Huck Finn’s and centered their design around the “Playland”, formerly known as Hoffman’s Playland. Their structure embodies the steam engine train that carries guests throughout the Playland.

When asked why they find CANstruction rewarding, Kyle explained, “Working with our peers to develop an idea,  finalize a design and then building it is a very useful and meaningful  team building experience.  Knowing that our participation in this event is for an amazing cause to fight hunger in the Albany capital region is very rewarding.”

Kyle went on to say, ” Our team usually includes high school interns who have been working in our office through a high school internship program that helps team them with Architectural professionals to see the importance of team work and volunteerism in our career.”

Congratulations to the team! Want CSArch to win, bring some cans to the Museum and donate them in the bin next to the Steam Train.


This photograph was taken by Damian B Photography.

AOW Associates and RIDA team up for CANstruction

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This is a guest written post by our team from AOW Associates and RIDA architecture!


2016 is the first year both AOW Associates and RIDA Architecture have participated in CANstruction and when we heard spots were open for teams, we jumped at the opportunity.  AOW’s next door neighbor is the Food Pantries of the Capital District and last year, AOW was one of the lead sponsors of their annual Harvest Evening Celebration.  Their great work within our community has even inspired one of our team members to become a volunteer for the organization.  We are excited to bring our knowledge of design and construction together for such a worthy cause that benefits so many of our fellow community members.  CANstruction participation has had its challenges along the way but we have all learned a great deal working as a team, with each team member bringing varying strengths to the group.  We can’t thank our sponsors enough for their generosity and we look forward to our second year of participation in 2017!


Want to see the AOW & RIDA team win the 2016 People’s Choice Award, bring cans to the museum and deposit your votes (cans) in the donation bin next to the wonderful Playdough sculpture!


This photograph was taken by Damian B Photography.

Stantec Takes on Their First Year on the Fourth Floor

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Stantec joined in our Capital Region CANstruction event for the first time this year.  Stantec embodied the Play theme by bringing the fun of arcades to the fourth floor with their CANcade exhibit. As you can see, this Skee-Ball game comes complete with a scoreboard and tickets!
“This is the first year that our Albany, NY office has participated in CANstruction. However, across Stantec’s 250+ locations, many of our offices have been participating in the program for years. One of our employees brought up the idea of participating in the CANstruction event and suggested that we consider putting together a team.” explained Kate Miller of Stantec. “After doing some research, it felt like CANstruction would be the perfect event for us to participate in with its combination of engineering, community outreach/education and the amazing benefitting charity. Prior to our involvement in CANstruction, many of us didn’t realize the extent to which people in our local communities struggle with  food insecurity and hunger on a daily basis. After reading about both the CANstruction event and wonderful work that The Food Pantries for the Capital District does, we got right to work. “
Every year participating teams go through great team building and learning experiences. Kate went on to explain, “This project has brought together multiple different departments within the Stantec Albany office and has created a sense of unity within the team, which is comprised of individuals who are typically not able to work together on the same project, given their dissimilar specialties. We are very excited about this year’s theme “Play” and are having a lot of fun with it. We have finalized plans on a very creative design and are eager to start building.”
When asked why they find being part of CANstruction rewarding Kate responded for the team saying, “It’s been a great opportunity to increase comradery within our office, while contributing to our local community. With the go go go of everyday life, it’s been great to take the time out and work together for the betterment of others. Our design calls for quite a lot of interior structural support which has afforded us the opportunity to utilize a wider variety of food items from the needs list. Not all food products will be seen from the outside, but we’re excited that our contribution will be meaningful both inside and out! Our participation, and as well as that of the other 14 teams, are bringing a greater awareness of hunger in community and helping numerous individuals in need… that in and of itself is the most rewarding element of this event.”
The team is also incredibly grateful to their supporters including, Hoffman’s Carwash, Mazzone Hospitality and MMC Millwork, a division of Greco Construction.
Congratulations to this awesome first year team! If you’d like to see them win the 2016 People’s Choice Award, bring cans down to the Museum and deposit your votes (cans) in the donation bin next to their structure.
This photograph was taken by Damian B Photography.

Mario and Luigi Fight Hunger with M.J. Engineering

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Our M.J. Engineering and Land Surveying team has always exuded a positive energy on build day! Their team spirit, creativity and dedication is inspiring and this year their structure truly stood out.

About 4 years ago, a few members of the M.J. team came back with nothing but positive things to say, after visiting the Zoo CAN Do It CANstruction exhibit at the Museum. “Then with a little help and guidance from Jill Shorter, we finally entered our team in the competition last year …. And of course, we will certainly be participating again next year!!,” explained Carly DeTomasis.

Mario and Luigi and they trusty TV are composed of over 5,200 food items. Their faces and hats, very well done by the team, are made of pudding cups, Jello, and peas and the colors are spot on!

Carly went on to share a bit about the team’s experience, “We had many great moments, so it is truly hard to pick one … but the best would probably have to be celebrating all our hard work at the awards ceremony with our team … not to mention taking home the Honorable Mention Award, our second award in our two years of participating. Fundraising events were also a fun time, while also bringing our company together to support a fantastic cause. We hosted a Halloween boat cruise, Giffy’s BBQ event, chili/chower cook-off and had some”

When asked why they find being a part of CANstruction rewarding, Carly had this to say, “Each year, knowing that our hard work will help provide THOUSANDS of meals to individuals in our community is the most rewarding thing there is…Sadly, hunger is a year-round issue. Knowing that 1 in 10 people don’t know where their next meal will come from is extremely devastating to hear. CANstruction is a great opportunity to get those in the local community involved in a fun project, while also helping people in need!  If you are a company in the AEC industry or a school interested in participating, we highly recommend it. Be a hero and help us fight hunger one CAN at a time! I guarantee that you won’t regret it.”


Congratulations to the team and thanks for your dedication.  If you’d like to see them win the 2016 People’s Choice Award, bring cans to the museum and deposit them as votes in the donation bin next to Mario and Luigi.


This photograph was taken by Damian B Photography.

Hyman Hayes Works In Harmony

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Hyman Hayes Associates participated in CANstruction for the first time this year. Having heard about it from one of their team members the group decided that they had to participate.

The biggest challenge this first year team faced was fundraising but team captain, Gaetano Licata says that those challenges only resulted in more creative solutions. “Our team is teaming up with Comedy works to do a comedy show were half the proceeds go toward our CANstruction efforts.  Along with all of the companies and people that donated to our cause, we couldn’t have done this without everyone.” Gaetano explained.

With over 2,300 cans, their structure is a larger than life Fisher Price Xylophone, mallet and all.

“It helps to split up tasks based on people’s interests, and we are lucky to have such smart and capable co-workers.  We encouraged the strengths that each person brought to the table and the result was a success.” Gaetano explained. “Certain people who were strong in Revit worked on that, while others, did leg work/brainstorming and planning. Then one team member who was strong in graphic elements worked on the poster idea.  We all pitched in, in the ways we knew how.”

When asked why they find CANstruction rewarding Gaetano said, “We love the event, and how it has brought us together as a team. The creativity and teamwork, on such an interesting problem.  The best thing is that all these aspects tie into helping out and doing something amazing for the community.”


This team was happy to bring home the 2016 award for Best Meal!

Congratulations to this first year team! Want to see Hyman Hayes Associates win the 2016 People’s Choice award? Bring cans to the museum and deposit them in the donation box by the Xylophone.


This photograph was taken by Damian B Photography.

M+W Group Brings Whimsy to the Fourth Floor

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The M+W Group team brought whimsy to the 4th floor of the museum this year, with their CANtasyland structure. This is the second year M+W has brought their creativity to the table and we’re so pleased to have them back.

Made from over 3,800 cans, their colorful and creative structure harkens back to the days of Coney Island and local amusement parks. The CANstructure included a roller coaster, carnival music, and an animated ferris wheel, complete with lights.

The nostalgic music playing from within their structure has provided the background music for the exhibit ever since build day and has helped bring our “Play” theme to life. As visitors wonder throughout the floor they can’t help but be drawn in by the fun, fantasy, and childlike wonder of this piece.


This team was honored by our judges with the Honorable Mention Award.

Congratulations to our team from the M+W Group. Want them to win the 2016 People’s Choice Award? Bring cans to the museum to deposit in their donation bin as ballots.


This photograph was taken by Damian B Photography.

EYP Brings a World Tour to CANstruction

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A veteran of CANstruction, EYP has participated in the event every year since its inception.  In fact, EYP had two teams at the inaugural Capital Region CANstruction event.

Phil Quindara, Marketing Manager at EYP, shared a bit about the team’s experience with CANstruction when he said, “Helping out the Food Pantries of the Capital District through CANstruction has been a huge part of our EYP’s culture as the excitement builds every year.  We strive to learn from past builds and explore ways to make the next build better than the last.  CANstruction brings our firm together.” Phil went on to say that, “Fundraising for CANstruction is very visible at our office as we hold multiple events throughout the year to raise money for our build.  Some of these events include office lunches, cooking competitions and silent auctions.”

This year the EYP build “The World is Your Playground”, a sculpture that featured iconic landmarks.  Made with over 4,100 cans this team’s creation featured the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the great wall of Chin and the pyramids all surrounded by a double decker London bus.


After all is said and done the team agrees that the best part of CANstruction is the day of the build, when all of their efforts come to life in cans and when team members of every discipline (architecture, engineering, marketing, IT, administration/operations) work together toward the same goal.

In addition, the EYP took home the 2016 Structural Integrity award.

Congratulations to the EYP team.


This photograph was taken by Damian B Photography.

Spring Line Design Builds Tree Fort From Cans

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This was our Spring Line Design team’s second year participating in CANstruction and according to team member Andrea Morris it was meant to be.

“We base most of our big time commitment decisions on whether our 11×17 laser printer will run out of cyan, magenta and yellow at the same time. This year all three ran out within 24 hours of the CANstruction call for entries announcement so by the ink of the toner gods it was written that we enter.” explained Morris.  She went on to say, “That night Kristin, our founder, had a dream where cans of tuna, vegetables, powdered milk and other items from the Food Pantries Items in need list PLAYed in a huge bouncy castle while she tried unsuccessfully to clear a paper jam from a box of pasta.  It was all there. We had to do CANstruction or risk repercussions from the toner gods for all eternity.”

SLD’s structure this year celebrates the joys of playing outdoors, with their CANopy Tree Fort.  Made of over 3,800 cans this fort even includes a wooden ladder and can to can telephone service.


When asked about their experience with CANstruction Andrea stated, “We have a very integrated staff as far as A/E firms go…CANstruction brings out all the secret talents we don’t get to utilize, like designing posters, t-shirts, and trying to get folks to donate money. CANstruction is a great cause and along the way we get to see other facets of our co-workers. It reminds us how lucky we are to have a talented team and that we CAN mobilize for the greater good.

It’s rewarding to, as a team, do something that benefits many people who need assistance. We also hope that children and families that come to the CANstruction exhibition will get excited about creating, building, problem solving, and begin to explore that in their lives. There may be kids who see our structure and are inspired to explore architecture, engineering, or art-making as a future career.  There’s almost no other significantly beneficial community event like this that speaks to all the things (as design professionals) that we love to do and also benefits something so important.   Plus our kitchen table has been covered in cans for months.  It’s kind of like getting to play Legos at lunchtime.”

In addition to having a build team two of the six years CANstruction has occured, Spring Line Design makes an effort to donate cans on the years they aren’t participating.  They have been known to support the RPI Archtitecture team as they have many alumni from the institution.

Congratulations to the Spring Line Design team! If you want to see their CANopy Tree Fort climb to the top of 2016 People’s Choice, vote for them by bringing cans to the museum and dropping them in the donation bin next to this firm’s structure.


This photograph was taken by Damian B Photography.

Mosaic Creates Bold and Beautiful Building Blocks

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The fourth floor of The New York State Museum is a little brighter and more colorful, thanks to Mosaic Associates.  Their elegant and playful, “Building Blocks” structure is made up of over 5,500 cans.  This is the team’s 6th consecutive year participating in CANstruction.

“We love participating in CANstruction each year because it’s such a wonderful cause and also helps our staff to get to know one another better.” explained Kate Calder, Marketing Manager, Mosaic Associates Architects. “We had some newer hires that had never participated in CANstruction before and it was great to see them participate.”

Their team’s structure brings to mind times of innocence and happiness and the arches they’ve built in are truly impressive. When asked whehter or not CANstruction is rewarding Kate had this to say, “CANstruction is rewarding for a number of reasons. It is a wonderful way to give back to the community in which we all live and work. Secondly, it provides great team building for our staff. Lastly, it provides an opportunity for our staff to be creative in different ways.”


While we often talk about the design savvy and personality of our teams, it is important to stress that CANstruction teams are responding to a very real need. People throughout our communities are hungry and there are certain types of food that are always in high demand. Their cans, mostly vegetables and protein will be much appreciated by the pantries who receive them.

Congratulations to our Mosaic Associates team!


This photograph was taken by Damian B Photography.

kW Mission Critical Engineering’s 1st Year at Build Day

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At Capital Region CANstruction we love to have new teams join in the effort and when kW Mission Critical Engineering decided to compile a build team we were thrilled. The company had generously sponsored last year’s event and their co-founder, James Warren, was committed to having a team in 2016.

“What has been fun is getting in a room and tossing out ideas. Many of our team members don’t usually work on projects together so it was fun to collaborate with different folks.” explained Sara Hyland, Marketing and Communications Director at kW.  “The people at kW MCE have a great level of comfort and respect for each other. Meetings were no holds barred. No one took control and no one took offense. One team member was skilled in metal and sculptures and led discussions. One team member had contacts for supplies and took on that role. As specifics of designs were needed, people pitched in and took leads on sections of the sculpture to bring it to fruition. Under the leadership of Captain Joe Rogowicz and his knowledge of what works and what pitfalls we needed to avoid, we were able to navigate through a successful design.”

In addition, the team’s idea was chosen through an internal contest. Participants submitted design ideas with the winner earning a $100 dollar prize.


The team’s structure brings to mind good, old fashioned, family game night and features “Rich Uncle Pennybags” from Monopoly.  With over 3,200 hundred cans, this incredible structure is instantly recognizable and showcases the firm’s dedication to their community.


“The kW MCE co-founders believe in giving back, especially the local community in which we live and work. Supporting food pantries and homeless shelters is a personal area of interest.” Hyland explained. Sara, who drove from Maine to donate her time as part of the team went on to say, “What is unique and rewarding about this event is the magnitude of donations that feed our neighbors from this one singular event. Also, as engineers we are showcasing our own knowledge, our creativity and design. It’s not just writing a donation check. We are giving countless hours and directly helping to bring awareness of the extremely important issue of food shortage and people in need in our community.”

Congratulations kW MCE on your first year at the build and a successful one at that! Want to see this team win the 2016 People’s Choice Award? Bring cans to the museum and drop them in this team’s collection bin!


This photograph was taken by Damian B Photography.