Last weekend, people visited SEAOSC’s second annual SoCal Gingerbread Challenge in droves, both in person and online, to revel in the festive creations made by engineering teams from across the region. If you couldn’t make it, view the colorful, whimsical structures online here.
On Thursday, November 30, dozens of engineers and other industry professionals assembled at The District and Tustin Legacy, where they had five hours to create and decorate their gingerbread structures. The results included fantastical castles, iconic film sets, and other edible marvels.
From Friday through Sunday, the public was invited to see what structural engineers can do to make buildings stand up, regardless of size or materials. During this three-day exhibition, all attendees and online visitors were invited to vote for their favorite structure—the one with the most votes being crowned the People’s Choice Award. Attendees could also build their own gingerbread structures and test them on a shake table for earthquake readiness.
To give back this season, every structure was paired with a local nonprofit organization—every vote for the structure counted as a donation to that partner organization. This year’s participants were ACE Mentoring (LA/OC), YMCA OC, Habitat For Humanity OC, South County Outreach, Destination Imagination, and the SEAOSC Foundation.
By 5 pm on Sunday, December 3, when the voting had closed, more than 5,000 votes had been cast in person and online! The public had spoken, and the results were in.
After the competition ended, the teams returned to where they had spent an intense five hours just days before for an awards ceremony and reception.
The 2023 SoCal Gingerbread Challenge winners are:
Ultimately, this exciting tradition acted as an opportunity to promote our profession. You can see more on this in publications like The OC Register and LAist. Thank you to everyone who visited and participated!
- People’s Choice: Van de Kamp’s Bakery (Architectural Resources Group & Structural Focus)
- President’s Award: The Burrow, Weasley Family Home (SGH)
- Best in Show: Van de Kamp’s Bakery (Architectural Resources Group & Structural Focus)
- Tallest Structure: The Bite-Sized Grand (Brandow & Johnston / AC Martin)
- Most Creative Original Design: Santa’s Surf Shack (Hilti)
- Best Replica Building: Hogwarts Castle (PBK/Kubala)
- Best Decorated: Super ES World (ICC Evaluation Service)
The second time around, this festive event was once again a great success, so look for us next year. Happy holidays!