The Cupboard

Earlier this year the Cripe Architecture department had the opportunity to work on their first “CANstruction” project- designing a large scale, hand built art installation out of non-perishable food. Canstruction design competitions have become increasingly popular in cities around the country as a means of donating food to food pantries and having fun in the process. They are typically targeted at the design/architecture/construction sectors to solicit creative design solutions. Additionally, they provide an opportunity for fun, team building, and giving back.


Cripe was the design architect for the new food pantry for Lawrence Township here in the greater Indianapolis area this past year, called “The Cupboard”. They desired to have a Canstruction installation for their grand opening, partly as a centerpiece and partly as a way of providing a baseline stock of food to fill their shelves. Carl Sergio offered to lead a departmental design and construction team.

The design task was similar to that of any real building- provide something attractive, agreeable to the client, under budget, and on time. Playing the additional role of “contractor” on the job, since Cripe was also building it, provided the additional challenge- not only did we have to design it to stand up, we had to ensure that it actually did.

What follows is a series of images to illustrate the design process that took The Cupboard”s original logo (at the top of this post) and turned it into  an elliptical wall, pixelated to a scale that was readable, affordable, buildable, and designable using the colors of available canned-food labels. The ellipse was hoped to be relatively self-supporting, but also a nice elongated shape to complement the space it would be in.

Reformatting the logo into a shape that would wrap into a long (and not too tall!) ellipse…

The Cupboard Logo Revised


…pixelated into pixel sizes representative of the size and shape of canned food…

The Cupboard Logo Revised Pixelated


The final gridded graphic used as a map for the team to build the real thing.

Can Layout Print


(Turns out laying out an ellipse on the ground is more difficult than previously thought…)

Ellipse dimensions

photo 2


We also had to get an accurate count of the cans we would need, based on the type of food (i.e. color of the label!) and the number we would need…enough requiring a preorder.

photo 1


Every project has a hangup or two (yep, we had two)…so when we picked up our cans, a third of the order hadn”t arrived, and we had to raid the shelves at Kroger. TWO Krogers.

photo 2 (2) cropped

This many cans required five cars to transport everything!


Let the construction begin!!

photo 4 (2)


(Cripe Design Associate Eric Beaman supervises as his volunteer wife Cassie does work) (credit william)

photo 5 (2)


(Design Associate Andrew Adegbamigbe”s sister Jumoke (left) also volunteered to help!)

photo 2 (3)


(It looks just like the logo, honest)


L-R: Matt Amore, Carl Sergio, Eric Beaman, Andrew Adegbamigbe, Shawnita Washington


(It was standing straighter than it looks…though we did have an accident later………..)

photo 5 (3) cropped



0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *