Do You Like Apples? NYC Fights Hunger through Engineering

Members of NV5’s New York City office participated in the CANstruction® design competition for the third year in a row! Photo (L to R): Johanna Pluymers, Jacob Monzella, Jocelyn Rothstein, Muhammad Khan, Joseph Amagliani, and Justin Huang.

Do You Like Apples?

By: Alicia Petrulis, New York City Office

Members of NV5’s New York City office participated in the annual CANstruction® design competition for the third year in a row.

What Is CANstruction®?

CANstruction® was founded in 1992 in New York City by Cheri Melillo as a nonprofit charity where design professionals and students come together to create gravity-defying sculptures to help local hunger relief organizations. CANstruction® events, exhibitions, and competitions are held annually in approximately 150 cities across the world. Since its inception, more than 82 million cans have been contributed towards the fight against hunger.

Fighting Hunger in New York City

At the end of the design competition in New York City, the cans are donated to New York City-based non-profit called City Harvest. The organization pioneered food rescue in 1982 when they saw the abundance of excess food and recognized the practical purpose it could serve in filling the plates of the needy and less fortunate. Today, nearly 1.3 million New Yorkers struggle to put meals on their tables and they have scaled up their efforts to fight hunger. City Harvest will collect 59 million pounds of excess food this year and deliver it free of charge to 500 soup kitchens, food pantries, and other community food programs across the five boroughs. By redirecting this nutritious food from supermarkets, manufacturers, farmers markets, and restaurants to our neighbors in need, they support local communities and reduce the environmental impact of food that would otherwise go to waste.

NV5’s 2019 CANstruction® Design

This year, New York City’s CANstruction® design team (pictured above) modeled their sculpture into an apple, using cans of Hunt’s petite diced tomatoes, Hunt’s tomato paste, Sol-Mex sardines in tomato sauce and Bush’s baked beans. The design team decided to use leveling boards again this year to speed up the build time on build night and create a sturdier structure. NV5 Senior Engineer Muhammad Khan led the design effort, which came to life after numerous meetings, models, and test-builds.

The sculpture, appropriately named “Do You Like Apples?,” used a total of 2,323 cans, ultimately taking 3 hours to construct on build night.

We are hoping to create a more elaborate structure for the next competition, so if you have any recommendations or ideas for a build, please let us know!

For more information on CANstruction’s mission and to see if the event is held in your local city, visit their website here.