September 7th marked the partnership between the Department of Buildings (DOB) and WHSAD for CANstruction’s 31st Annual Design Competition. Canstruction is precisely what its name suggests, the construction of designs solely using cans which get donated to food banks at the end of each project. DOB asked that WHSAD students come up with a design which included the text “DOB CARES”, an apple representing New York City, and a city skyline upon student suggestion. This prompt received several student submissions who all brought a level of uniqueness to the table. In the end, the design that was chosen belonged to WHSAD Junior, Alonzo Jones. The next stage of this project will take place on Monday, September 26th where the WHSAD community will collaborate to conceptualize this design into cans and receive additional information on the project from partners.
As many students submitted a design for this project, their designs and accompanying artist statements can be found below to give recognition to all of the work done.
Saphire Celestin, WHSAD Freshman
“When I heard about the CANstruction project and apple design, I was excited because I feel that this is a chance for me to expand my art skills and take a step closer to my art dreams. As a high school freshman, I really appreciate the opportunity to be able to work with such a big organization at such a young age. This is the beginning of my journey of exploring, expanding my art skills, and getting a chance to meet new people who share the same interests as me. When I was creating my design, I felt inspired by the art style that most mangakas (manga artists) use, and I decided to incorporate that into my line art, combining it with my coloring style. As I was sketching out my design, I thought about the opportunities that I would get after turning in my design. After hearing that the DOB liked my art, I was very excited knowing that a big organization liked my artwork.”
Lolo Iberle, WHSAD Senior
“In class, Mr. Codio introduced us to the red apple CANstructure. He shared it to the class to see who would be interested in being a part of it. I got interested and decided to write down what would be needed in my sketch for the CANstruction. I made sure I knew what colors were needed and for what they needed, red for the red apple, green for the leaves, and blue and white lining for the text ‘DOB Cares’.
I had a few ideas for the CANstructure but I decided on one of them and the idea for my CANstruction piece was a red apple tree. I got the inspiration from the idea that apples come from trees, and I wanted my work to be a little different and tried to make something unique, so it can catch other people’s eyes. The sketch was just a normal red apple tree and the words ‘DOB Cares’ on the roots in blue and white lining.”
Morgan Shoken, WHSAD Freshman
“When I first learned about the CANstruction project as a freshman in high school, I was intrigued and excited by the concept of constructing something from cans to represent a large organization like DOB. I thought it was an inventive way to demonstrate DOB’s commitment to creativity. Given that the structure would be made out of cans, my design process led me to create multiple apples. After all, one apple wouldn’t work for a place as huge as New York City. This inspired me to design three apples, each bearing individual words. The first apple is labeled “The”. The middle apple displayed “DOB”, while the third apple read “CARES”. Although I created several designs with entirely unique concepts, my aim was to keep it simple yet distinctive, because we would be using cans of varying sizes. Overall, I found this project both enjoyable and innovative, and I was thrilled to participate. I am excited to see the final completed project.”
Britney Carryl, WHSAD Senior
“These designs were brainstormed within minutes. I sat down, opened Pinterest, and started sketching. Understanding the shape of an object/thing is of utmost importance when it comes to drawing it so my little research helped me a ton. I was able to have around 7 designs in a matter of 10 minutes. I thought about shapes I liked, the ideal apple and combined the two.
Sketches are just rough drafts. So my final draft is where I added color and more detail. I chose the sketches I liked the most and transferred them to a larger “canvas”. I sketched then did an outline with a black marker. The colors I chose were supposed to be your typical apple so I had no stress with finding the right color. I added smaller details which made the designs look semi realistic.”
WHSAD Junior, Alonzo Jones
“DOB cares. Those are the words that Codio, a senior architecture teacher at my school, told me as I walked down the hallway. I didn’t know what he was talking about but it led to my design. He asked me to create a design with a city skyline and an apple, and as soon as he said that idea, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
Originally I did a bigger design. With a slightly more detailed skyline and a smaller apple. But after some feedback such as: smaller design, more detail, and a bigger apple, I then created what everyone now sees as my final design.
The Saturday morning that I started my design concepts was a hectic one. But I knew I had to get it done. I opened the program Procreate and got to work. Originally thinking about a large skyline with an apple in the center and large “DOB CARES” letters. But I had to minimize and shift my design around. The original design concept was flatly colored, but towards the end of the design I decided to add my own signature style.
I’ve always loved comics and the way comic artists and colorists colored their art. So I decided to incorporate my signature coloring style into the project and then I thought.. “This is perfect,” I sent it to the Department of Buildings, and they loved it. Now my design will be chosen to be built out of cans, being displayed at Brookfield Place, Lower Manhattan, NY.”