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Lady Gaga's Shoe and Angry Birds Take Shape With Canned Food

By Julie Shapiro | November 14, 2011 4:12pm

BATTERY PARK CITY — Lady Gaga's lobster claw shoe, an Angry Bird and a container ship made entirely of canned food went on display at the World Financial Center last week.

The 26 whimsical, carefully engineered sculptures are part of the 19th annual "Canstruction," an exhibit that collects thousands of pounds of food for City Harvest each Thanksgiving.

"It's more fun than a regular food drive," said Jennifer Greene, a board member at the Society for Design Administration, which is a sponsor of Canstruction.

Teams of engineers and architects used more than 100,000 cans, or about 60,000 pounds of food, to build the 26 sculptures, Greene said. Many of the people who visit the exhibit will bring more cans to donate, hopefully adding another 40,000 pounds of food, Greene said.

Last Thursday, the first day Canstruction was on display, many people walking through the World Financial Center paused to gape at the sculptures and take pictures of them.

"It's amazing," said Michael Scuotto, 10, a Brooklyn resident. "Just that they could take these tiny little cans and make them into these giant wonderful sculptures — they did a great job."

Scuotto's favorite structure was "Cangry Birds" by DeSimone Consulting Engineers, which brought the popular iPhone game to life with cans of pasta, tuna, crab, shrimp and sweet peas.

Other popular displays depicted the Alexander McQueen lobster claw shoe that Lady Gaga wore in her "Bad Romance" video, which Arup made of sweet peas and baby carrots, and a giant "walk" and "don't walk" signal, which Cetra/Ruddy made of black olives, peaches, corn and tomato sauce.

On Monday, a jury including Michael Arad, who designed the World Trade Center Memorial; Annie Block, editor at Interior Design; and Wade Burch, executive chef at SouthWest NY will bestow prizes on the sculptures, including best meal and best use of labels.

Canstruction is on view at the World Financial Center seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Nov. 21, when it will close at 5 p.m. One of the 26 sculptures, showing the Grand Central clock, is on display separately in the lobby of One Liberty Plaza, at Liberty Street and Broadway.