ForKnife, the winning sculpture in the 2018 CANstruction competition.

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After another successful year of CANstruction, where 10 teams built sculptures out of 33,827 cans of food, the San Antonio chapters of the Society for Design Administration (SDA) and The American Institute of Architects (AIA San Antonio) announced Monday the winner of the coveted People’s Choice Award, as voted by visitors to the exhibition at North Star Mall.

This year’s winning sculpture is ForKnife – Battle Hunger, created by RVK Architects in partnership with Lundy & Franke Engineering and F.A. Nunnelly General Contractor.

Inspired by the online battle game that took over the hearts, minds, and summer vacations of millions of teenagers, the winning team depicted the eponymous “Battle Bus,” complete with a hot air balloon constructed entirely from cans of tomato sauce and hominy.

CANstruction’s first official competition was held in New York City in 1993. Founded by the late Cheri Melillo and her colleagues from SDA, Melillo envisioned a challenge that would unite the design and engineering communities in a unique event spotlighting the fight against hunger around the world. Today, CANstruction competitions are held each year in more than 150 cities globally. The San Antonio Chapter of SDA brought this event to San Antonio in 2006. Over 12 years, CANstruction has provided more than a half-million cans of food for the San Antonio Food Bank.

Cindy Delgado of Lehmann Engineering has served on the SDA’s CANstruction committee since 2011 and now serves as chair of the event.

“As someone who experienced food insecurity when I was growing up, it is important to me to give back to others who are struggling today,” Delgado explained. “When I find a cause that I believe in, such as helping families in need through the Food Bank, I don’t let go. CANstruction allows me to grow both personally and professionally, by giving back to my community, getting involved with the creativity of the design teams, and getting wonderful exposure for my firm and the SDA.”

Each year, Delgado brings together the multiple stakeholders who make this event a success, including North Star Mall, which has generously hosted this event for many years.

“We are grateful to be part of this event,” Senior General Manager Brenda Crawford said. “All the teams work together so well and for such a wonderful cause. Our North Star Mall customers truly enjoy these intricate sculptures – the creativity of the teams is astounding!”

On the design side, AIA San Antonio encourages its members to participate in CANstruction.

“AIA San Antonio’s mission is to advocate for architects and architecture,” said Torrey Stanley Carleton, AIA San Antonio’s executive director. “CANstruction is a fantastic community opportunity to showcase the imagination, creativity, and commitment of local architecture firms and their project partners, in support of the San Antonio Food Bank.”

Michael Guerra, chief development officer for the SA Food Bank, expressed his deep appreciation for the contributors to this event: “This year’s CANstruction was maybe the best ever! We saw innovation, creativity, and lots of food to help fight hunger. San Antonio puts on one of the best CANstruction competitions in America, and we thank all the firms and donors that went the extra mile this year.”

Design Teams interested in participating in CANstruction 2019 may contact Cindy Delgado at or find more information here. 

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Society for Design Administration San Antonio Chapter

FOR OVER 50 YEARS the Society for Design Administration (SDA) has been providing accredited education, best management practices, and training on professional standards to help design firm personnel grow...