SXSW EDU Learn by Design $50.00

March 4-7, 2024
Austin, TX

Image by Hans Watson

The SXSW EDU Learn by Design competition (“Learn by Design”) celebrates the collaboration of designers and educators in the pursuit of design-based solutions to challenges within education through the use of physical space.

From classrooms and libraries to museums, special exhibitions, and more, the physical environments where teaching and learning occur are transformative tools to elevate learning outcomes. Learn by Design is dedicated to showcasing imaginative and impactful designs of educational spaces. Selected finalists will be invited to present their projects in a fast-paced showcase in front of a live audience and judging panel.

Apply here by Friday, November 1, 2019 to share your innovative design solutions to everyday education challenges at SXSW EDU, March 9-12, 2020 in Austin, TX.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Learn by Design is open to designers, educators, architects, and creatives of all kinds, both nationally and internationally.

  • Qualified project submissions include any physical space, installation, or facilitation of the use of a space that is helping solve challenges in education. This includes but is not limited to makerspaces, museums, libraries, community spaces, schools, exhibitions, and public art.

  • At this time, only completed projects are eligible for submission. Conceptual projects will not be considered.

  • Each applicant is only eligible to present in one of the SXSW family design events (SXSW Place by Design or SXSW EDU Learn by Design). In contrast, if you have applied for SXSW Place by Design and were not accepted to participate, you are able to apply to SXSW EDU Learn by Design.

Application Process

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 that there is a $50 application fee. You will not be asked to commit to purchasing until you have completed the application and are ready to submit.

If invited to present your project in March, we highly recommend bringing both a designer and educator to showcase your project together.

Judging Criteria

A panel of judges will decide the winner 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 additional information on Learn by Design, please visit the FAQ or contact

Finalists will be selected with the help of the Learn by Design Advisory Committee and invited to present at SXSW EDU, March 9-12, 2020.