Parkhill, Smith & Cooper and the West Texas Food Bank once again collaborated with the West Texas chapter of the American Institute of Architects to host CANtribute – a design based food drive. An architecture design process project with Science Technology Math & Science students from Midland High School now becomes a source of food to hungry West Texans.

The project involves 36 students from MHS who are enrolled in a problem solving/architecture STEM class. The students worked closely with PSC and Rhotenberry Wellen Architects since January to design sculptures that are made out of canned foods. The students were introduced to the architecture design process through the use of the can sculpture project. The process involved the students selecting the theme, creating teams and building three dimensional computer generated models to help plan for and build their sculptures.

“Since this is a STEM class, it seems natural that the students are challenged to use architectural computer programs to solve complicated, but exciting problems like a sculpture of cans made to look like R2D2,” PSC architect RJ Lopez said. “They were asked to discover solutions to the questions: How large can the sculpture be based on the cans available? How do you arrange cans to look like a recognizable object? And how do you build it?”

The public is invited to stop by the Midland Park Mall from now until June 2 to judge on how well the students were able to respond to the design challenge.

The students will built seven, Star Wars-themed designs that include the Death Star, lightsabers, BB8, AT-AT, a Storm Trooper, R2D2 and Jabba the Hut, out of 25,000 canned food items.


There will be donation barrels setup at both locations for those who wish to stop by and support the cause by donating canned food products.

The donation of canned goods comes at an ideal time for the WTFB as the number of food drives traditionally slows down in the summer and the need for food increases. This year the WTFB has seen a dramatic increase in the number of emergency food boxes distributed.

“We love this partnership and collaboration with the West Texas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects,” Libby Campbell, executive director for the WTFB said. “The fact that cans of food are used as a tool for students to learn and then donated to feed hungry Texans, makes it even more special.