You may have noticed them if you’ve walked through the Merchandise Mart sometime in late August through early September. They stand about 10 feet tall and resemble anything from a waterfall to Garfield to a hotdog. Of course, we are talking about Chicago’s annual CANstruction event.IMAG0136

For the past several years, Chicago’s leading AEC firms have band together for a cause that allows us to both give back to the community and also flex our creative muscle. This year marks the first year that every member of our team – Valenti Builders, The Lakota Group and Myefski Architects – is participating, and in just a few weeks, we’ll be prepared to answer the question that everyone ultimately asks:

“How do you do it?”

While we are still figuring that out, we do know that the first step was to choose a design (which must remain top secret, for now) and also start collecting funds so that we can purchase the cans to build our structure. Then we’ll scour the local grocery stores to buy the right sizes and colors of the canned goods that will have the most impact for our design. On August 13, the final step is “Build Night,” where we have from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. to build a structure that won’t topple over and – fingers crossed – wins our team a prize at the award ceremony on September 4.

But for all of this to happen, we need your help.

Firms that have participated in the past have said the average amount of donations required to build a 10 x 10 foot structure ranges from $5,000 to $8,000. All of the money we raise will get spent on buying canned goods that will be donated to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

If you are interested in the cause, we ask that you made a donation on our fundraising page: Any amount is appreciated and we’ll be sure to give all of our sponsors recognition on our display board next to our structure. We are aiming to raise $5,000 by July 15!


Valenti Builders, The Lakota Group, Myefski Architects