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KTGY Irvine – CANstruction 2013 – “Wishing Away Hunger”


Related Information

The CANstruction design/build competition serves as a canned food drive to support the Orange County Food Bank, which services more than 500,000 Orange County residents that are food insecure. At the close of the exhibition all of the canned food items used in these structures are donated to the Orange County Food Bank, for distribution to shelters, soup kitchens and other emergency feeding programs.

CANstruction Orange County is supported by the Orange County Chapters of The Society for Design Administration, The American Institute of Architects, and Society of Marketing Professional Services. For more information about CANstruction Orange County or to donate to the Orange County Food Bank, go online and visit


“Wishing Away Hunger” — KTGY Participates in Orange County’s 6th Annual CANstruction Design/Build Competition at South Coast Plaza To Aid Food Bank

KTGY participated in Orange County’s 6th Annual CANstruction design/build at the South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif., won an “Honorable Mention” Award for its Genie from Disney’s Aladdin, made of canned food items. KTGY’s innovative design and planning capabilities, normally reserved for real estate builders, owners, investors and developers of all property types, were used to design this very colorful, 10-foot tall Genie, which was titled “Wishing Away Hunger.”

The Genie comprised of 3,000 canned food items including: 1,000 cans of Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Solid White Albacore Tuna for the Genie’s gold base; 100 cans of La Costeña Homestyle Mexican Salsa for the Genie’s red belt; 1,100 cans of First Street Premium Solid White Albacore Tuna for the Genie’s blue body; and for the Genie’s head, 650 cans of Great Value Solid White Albacore Tuna and 150 cans of Hormel Foods Spam Spread. The facial features were meticulously constructed using Riesens candies and Lifesaver mints.

KTGY’s team, along with 16 other team participants made up of local architects, designers and engineers, worked feverishly throughout the night on Friday, September 6th, after the close of business at the South Coast Plaza to assemble their can sculptures. Kirsten Halik and Christine Atienza served as co-leaders for KTGY’s CANstruction design/build event and were assisted by other KTGY designers and staff including Klarke Wang, Gina Nixon, Lawrence Yun, Claudia Rodriguez, Miguel Campo, Jennifer Ng, Sonia Gomez, and Ben Kasdan. Other important volunteers from KTGY included: Jessica Musick, David Senden, Thomas Morales, Geoff Gudelman, Tiffany Brown, Tiffany Gosden, Lara McKissick and Matt Faller.

“We had up to 30 team members helping us build the Genie after the mall closed at 10:00 p.m. on Friday night, and we finished around 4:00 a.m. In total, I would estimate that we spent a total of 200 plus hours from the beginning of the design process to completion,” said Halik.

KTGY supported the fundraising effort with a substantial donation and KTGY Director Gina Nixon reached out to the firm’s clients and consultants to raise additional funds. Nixon also organized a fundraising party hosted by Pirch (formerly known as Fixtures Living) at its new Costa Mesa showroom. “Not only did Pirch host a fabulous CANstruction fundraising party but they also donated an additional $1,500,” said Halik. “A local band, The Blues Offenders, played free of charge. With close to 100 people in attendance, we raised another several thousand dollars for the canned food structure.” The Genie cost more than $7,000 in canned food and building supplies.