Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.

Architecture students host food drive for Phoenix charity

STACKING UP: Cans sit outside the Design school on Wednesday afternoon as part of The American Institute of Architecture Students canned food drive. (Photo by Rosie Gochnour)
STACKING UP: Cans sit outside the Design school on Wednesday afternoon as part of The American Institute of Architecture Students canned food drive. (Photo by Rosie Gochnour)

The American Institute of Architecture Students at ASU completed a canned food drive competition Wednesday afternoon to benefit Phoenix Rescue Mission, a local non-profit organization that provides shelter and food to the less fortunate.

The event was organized by architecture seniors Mandel McDonnell and James Parker to promote unity among the disciplines and levels at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

“It all started (with) the idea that the Design School adopts a family for the holidays each year, so we thought why just adopt one family?” Parker said. “Why not take on something larger than that and help out more families?”

The idea for a canned food drive competition began after Darren Petrucci, the director of the Design School, said students must bring in one can of food should they want to submit a T-shirt design for the Herberger Institute.

Parker said he took the next step and suggested having the Herberger Institute sponsor a food drive for the benefit of multiple families.

The event took place in between the Design North and Design South buildings, where AIAS members set up pieces of paper with the names of all the Teachers Assistants and Faculty at the Herberger Institute.

The goal of the contest was to collect as many items of canned food as possible for the Phoenix Rescue Mission, with the winning class receiving a pizza party on behalf of AIAS.

Although the event culminated in two hours of canned food collection and can structure building, McDonnell said AIAS has been actively collecting canned food donations for several weeks prior to the event.

“We chose the Phoenix Rescue Mission because they are a local organization serving our local Phoenix community,” AIAS President McDonnell said.

There was no set goal for the number of cans AIAS planned to collect, but they hope to collect as many as possible to benefit the Phoenix Rescue Mission, McDonnell said.

The AIAS canned food drive was held in conjunction with a collaborative project that spans across all the disciplines at the Herberger Institute. The topic for this year’s project was food.

McDonnell said the goal of the project is to research the topic of food in developed and developing countries and to work on solutions for food based problems through design thinking. The students are conducting research on many different food related topics such as population growth, climate change, land and water issues.

Petrucci has been working to get the different majors to work together more often, especially in fourth year studios where the students have been assigned the issue of food from a design perspective, architecture senior Rafael Fontes said.

“We wanted to have this food drive as a way of moving beyond the theoretical into something that is actually practical outside the studio,” Fontes said.


Reach the reporter at

Continue supporting student journalism and donate to The State Press today.

Subscribe to Pressing Matters



This website uses cookies to make your experience better and easier. By using this website you consent to our use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie Policy.