Learn By Design

Learn by Design elevates groundbreaking work in the design of physical learning environments and how it impacts pedagogy and learning outcomes.

Deadline: November 1, 2019

Apply Now

Photo by Hans Watson.

Photo by Hans Watson.

2019 Learn by Design Finalists - Elizabeth Mulkerrin

The competition was very exciting! The whole process was definitely a learning process for me. I learned how to take a 60 minute presentation and make it 5 minutes.

Elizabeth Mulkerrin

2019 Learn by Design - Armando Manalo

The SXSW EDU Learn By Design competition provided an exceptional forum for showcasing our project to a broader community of like-minded peers working at the intersection of education, architecture, and digital media.

Armando Manalo
2019 Learn by Design Finalists / LabVenture

About Learn by Design


Learn by Design elevates groundbreaking work in the design of physical learning environments and how it impacts pedagogy and learning outcomes.

The competition 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. The competition is dedicated to showcasing imaginative and impactful designs of education spaces.

Individuals or organizations are encouraged to apply during the application process July 1-November 1, 2019. Selected finalists will present their projects in the live pitch event before a panel of educators, designers, early adopters, as well as SXSW EDU attendees, March 9-12, 2020.

Additionally, finalists and attendees will have ample opportunities to connect through spotlights, socials, and other events during SXSW EDU.

For frequently asked questions and answers, check out the Learn by Design FAQ.

How to Apply


Individuals or organizations are encouraged to complete the online application process to be considered as a finalist for the 2020 competition.

Monday, July 1 – Application Opens
Friday, November 1 – Application Closes

Apply for Learn by Design

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.

Complete an Application

Launch and Learn by Design competition application steps infographic.

  • Sign in or create an account in the SXSW cart, then select “SXSW EDU Learn by Design Competition” to begin the application process.
  • Once you begin the application, you can save and continue your work as you go.
  • Take some time to review your application, no changes can be made once it has been submitted.
  • Please note that there is a $50 fee associated with the application, but you will not be asked to commit to purchasing until you have completed the application and are ready to submit.

Apply for Learn by Design

Get Involved

Showcase Your Design Project

Submit an application to showcase your work as part of the Learn by Design competition, March 9-12 at SXSW EDU. Apply for consideration, July 1 – November 1.

Apply for Learn by Design

Learn by Design History

Learn more about the history of the Learn by Design competition and browse a full list of past design finalists, winners, and judges.

Learn More

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