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Engineering Students Compete Using Canned Art

UCR Engineering Students Combine Art with Taste in Competition

Sculptures made of canned goods benefit arts and the needy with Canstruction 2008.

(May 7, 2008)

UCR engineering students designed this campus scene in the Canstruction competition last year and won for best use of labels. Photo by Michael Elderman. Enlarge

UCR engineering students designed this campus scene in the Canstruction competition last year and won for best use of labels. Photo by Michael Elderman.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — Not since Andy Warhol’s famous Campbell’s Soup painting have canned goods been so prominent in art as with the Canstruction 2008 fundraiser for the Riverside Art Museum. A student team from UC Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering will compete against several others in Canstruction, a Riverside Arts Alliance fundraiser for the Riverside Art Museum.

UCR team members are Joshua Hockel, Naubahar Agha, Jesse Banuelos, Giovanni Denina, Amy Higa, Kevin Pauley and Christopher Webb.

Each five-member team will build self-supporting structures made completely of canned goods that can fit into a 10-square-foot space that’s 8 feet tall. The canned goods are donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank directly following the competition. The public can view the sculptures on display from Friday, May 9 through Thursday, May 15 at the Riverside Art Museum, 3425 Mission Inn Ave.

A gala opening event will also be held at the Riverside Art Museum from 4:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Thursday, May 8. The cost for the opening night gala is $19.99. A second event, “Cuisine in a Can,” will be held on the Riverside Downtown Marriott Hotel patio Tuesday, May 13 at 11:30 a.m. There, guests will be treated to lunch, a silent auction and a cooking demonstration by local chefs using ingredients from canned goods. The cost is $40.

UC Riverside will compete in Canstruction against:

• HDR Architecture, Pasadena, California

• HMC Architects, Ontario, California

• Carla Bender, Spirit Trail Studios, Riverside, California

• Students from the Department of Architecture, Cal Poly, Pomona

• Webb Engineering — Riverside

• ac-6 architect collaborative — Redlands

• ASEA American Society of Engineers and Architects / MSAC Student Team

• WWCOT Riverside

Last year, the Bourns College of Engineering team’s design, which incorporated well-known features of the UCR campus, won the award for best use of labels. The 6,000 cans of baked beans, green beans, sardines, albacore and mandarin oranges used in the entry helped feed hungry residents of the Inland Empire.

Canstruction is an international service project of the design and construction industry, and credited to The Society for Design Administration.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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