GBBN recently participated in a unique design competition. Canstruction Cincinnati enlists architects, engineers, and contractors in creating giant sculptures that are made entirely out of canned foods. These are assembled and displayed in various locations across downtown as a way of raising awareness of the work that the Cincinnati Freestore Foodbank does to address hunger in our community.

After they are displayed, the sculptures are disassembled and donated to the Freestore Foodbank for their food pantries.

This year, GBBN’s Canstruction team paid homage to the first generation, Sony Walkman. The team explained the inspiration of our sculpture with the following statement:

Food for Your Belly, a Soundtrack for Your Life.

There are alternate timelines where it is known as the “Soundabout,” the “Stowaway,” or the “Freestyle,” but in ours, we call it “the Walkman.” First sold in 1979, the Sony Walkman TPS-L2 marked a turning point in human history. It not only changed how we listen to music, allowing us to select the soundtrack for our lives, but it changed how we experience the world. The progenitor of the iPod, iPhones (and smartphones of all kinds), MP3 players, minidisc players, and the Discman, the Walkman enveloped us in sound that enhances the rhythmic quality of the street. The Walkman also freed up our hands for more productive uses. Before its invention, if you wanted to listen to music in public, you had to balance a large boombox upon your shoulder.

Commemorated here in cans, the icon that fed our ears will soon feed our community.

According to Canstruction team member, Lynn Belhumeur, the Walkman was built of 3,190 cans of food (including, 504 Corned Beef Hash, 250 Wild Caught Mackerel, 786 Sweet Peas, 1392 Black Beans, 120 Ripe Olives, 96 Sweet Golden Corn, 36 Green Beans, and 24 Baked Beans) and stood 10 feet tall. It also included 25 feet of electrical conduit, representing the wires running between the Walkman and its earbuds.

Our Canstruction sculpture is on view in the Scripps Center in downtown Cincinnati until March 25th. Learn more how to visit all of the sculptures in person here and donate to the Freestore Foodbank here.