SXSW EDU Learn by Design Application $50

March 5-8, 2018
Austin, TX

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SXSW EDU 2016 Image by Cris Dewitt

The Learn by Design competition celebrates the collaboration of designers and educators in the pursuit of design-based solutions to challenges within education.

The competition will showcase projects in four distinct categories focused on the design of physical space and the potential it has to improve learning outcomes.

Apply here by Sunday, November 5, 2017 to share your innovative design solutions to everyday education challenges at SXSW EDU, March 5-8, 2018 in Austin, TX.

Eligibility Requirements

The SXSW EDU Learn by Design competition is open to projects and design solutions that enhance physical learning environments for students at every age. Qualified projects will be considered in the following four categories; PreK-12, Higher Ed, Informal Learning and Conceptual. All projects that have been created and exist in the physical form should be submitted in either the PreK-12, Higher Ed or Informal Learning categories. The Conceptual category is reserved for any projects that have not yet been created, but have a fully-formed concept. Please note that both designers and educators are encouraged to apply.

  • Higher Ed: Universities, colleges, community colleges, professional learning centers, etc.
  • PreK-12: Early learning, elementary and secondary schools, learning centers, etc.
  • Informal Learning: Museums, libraries, community centers, etc.
  • Conceptual: Projects that do not yet exist in a physical form.

Application Process

To view the application click the “Buy Now” button at the bottom of the page. Please note there is a fee associated with this application, but you will not be asked to commit to purchasing until you have completed the application and are ready to submit. Once you begin the Learn by Design application you can save and continue your work as you go until you decide to submit your completed application which you can do at a later time up until the application deadline.

Please note if invited to present your project in March we highly recommend bringing both a designer and educator to showcase your project together.

Finalists will be selected with the help of the Learn by Design Advisory Committee and invited to present at SXSW EDU during March 5-8, 2018.

Judging Criteria

A panel of judges will decide the winners in each category at the event in March based on the following criteria:

  • Innovative: How original is this project or idea?
  • Accessible: Is this a design that could be used by a diverse group of learners?
  • Effective: How impactful and efficient is this design in an educational space?
  • Practical: Is this design feasible within a learning space? Would it detract or improve current pedagogical environments?
  • Impact: What is the potential of this project to improve learning outcomes?

For more information on Learn by Design please visit the Learn by Design page or contact

Please note there is a $50 application fee at the end of application.

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