- Civil Engineering
What is Canstruction?
Canstruction® is the most unique food charity in the world! A foundation of the Society for Design Administration (SDA), Canstruction® is a design/build competition currently held in cities throughout North America. Teams of architects, engineers, and students mentored by these professionals, compete to design and build giant structures made entirely from full cans of food.
The results are displayed to the public as magnificent sculpture exhibits in each city where a competition is held. At the close of the exhibitions all of the canned food used in the structures is donated to local food banks for distribution to emergency feeding programs that include pantries, soup kitchens, elderly and day care centers.
Paradigm Design, Inc. created a sculpture using approximately 4,700 cans; double what we have used in previous years. This year over 12,000 cans total were donated by the Canstruction Grand Rapids competition. Our sculpture won the award for Structural Ingenuity for the third year in a row along with our second award for Public’s Choice.
With our sculpture we hope to celebrate the opportunity for a peaceful change in Egypt. It is a new world where people are able to organize and mobilize through the use of instant messaging, cell phones, and social media. It is becoming harder to repress a people when they are aware of the freedoms that other’s have.
Special thank you to our generous sponsors for their contributions to our sculpture. All proceeds are donated to the Salvation Army Booth Family Services.
Paradigm Design, Inc., CD Barnes, and Rhoades Engineering created this sculpture using approximately 2000 cans. Winning awards for: Jurors Choice, Structural Ingenuity, and Best Use of Labels.
Hunger and Poverty are not unique to any one continent, but it seems that Africa in particular has been hard hit by this duo. Our concept posed two serious challenges. One was to create a map of Africa with a face superimposed on the front. The second was to make this awkward continent stand on its narrowest point, while large portions cantilevered out. Our sculpture attempts to give a face to the hunger experienced in Africa and all over the world. There are two faces embedded in the design, one is a colored map of Africa depicting the Sahara Dessert, jungles of the Congo, and even Lake Victoria. The second gives a human face to those who need help. Challenge number one was finding the labels that would allow us to create these two faces. Challenge number two was structural. Structurally our sculpture can be thought of as a giant seesaw in perfect balance. The weight of the cans on one side is equal to that on the other allowing the sculpture to stand in harmony and symmetry.
Paradigm Design, Inc. created a sculpture using over 1,500 cans. Using the assortment of canned goods we innovatively recreated one of the biggest news stories of 2009, the “Miracle on the Hudson.” Paradigm’s team worked diligently on the design and layout of each can’s placement to ensure the representation of this “miracle” would be as adequately depicted as possible.
Like most of America, we were inspired by the heroic actions of Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger. The backdrop of the Manhattan skyline is made of over-sized cans of kidney beans, pizza sauce, and pasta sauce. This gave us the ability to maximize our donation and emphasize the scale of the buildings. Our plane is made primarily with cans of potatoes and tuna. Our goal was to coordinate the cans with the actual colors of Flight 1549. What proved to be our greatest challenge was achieving the round shape of the plane and giving the impression of it floating in the Hudson. The end result proved to be a success with the team winning three awards: Juror’s Choice, Structural Ingenuity, and Public Choice.
We donated the food in honor of Captain Sully and the crew of Flight 1549 and celebrate with the families of the passengers and crew.
Dégagé Ministries is a non-profit organization with an outstanding reputation of responding to the needs of the poor and marginalized population of Grand Rapids. As a donation to Dégagé Ministries renovation project, Paradigm Design, Inc. and Rhoades Engineering, Inc. offered full Architectural and Engineering services. The project consisted of a total renovation of all five floors of the 144 S. Division building. Each floor is approximately 4,511 square foot and provides space to accommodate different areas of service/ministry. Due to the age of the facility, the electrical, mechanical, and plumbing systems required complete removal and replacement, adding to the complexity of the project.
To show their appreciation for all that is done for the employees at Paradigm Design, each year the staff purchases holiday gifts for the partners of the firm. For years these gifts ranged from desk accessories, to evenings of fine dining and entertainment, to gift cards reflective of the partners’ individual interests.
In 2003, the coordinator of the holiday plans decided to take the gift giving in a different direction by making donations to local charities in the four partners’ names. The response of the partnership was so overwhelmingly positive that the decision was made to continue making charitable donations in lieu of gifts. Over the last few years, Mel Trotter, In the Image, Wedgwood Christian Services, The Salvation Army, and Toys for Tots have been the recipients of the staff contributions.
Last year, the Paradigm staff used the funds contributed to purchase toys for the Toys for Tots campaign. Prompted by the generosity of their staff, the four partners at the firm decided to match these funds with a check from Paradigm Design. The morning of the annual Paradigm Design holiday luncheon, two Marines came to the office to pick up the toys and were presented with the check. We were reminded that each American has a responsibility to consider the needs of others as these men, who sacrifice daily so much for our nation, collected toys for the less fortunate children. It was a touching moment for the entire firm.
Western Michigan is served by Marine Reserve Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment. The unit served in Iraq in 2006 through 2007. During the course of their deployment in the Al Fallujah Peninsula, in the dangerous Anbar province, five marines made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
Paradigm Design is proud to have played a part in providing construction drawings for a memorial that was dedicated to the marines and their families on May 29th, 2008. We worked in collaboration with Larry Broomberg of “Larry Broomberg Design,” and Marines from Alpha Company in the creation and delivery of this memorial. The Memorial can be visited at the Naval/Marine Reserve facility located at 1863 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Paradigm Design is an Active Member of the Community