Learn By Design

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

Photo by Steven Snow.

Photo by Steven Snow.

About Learn by Design


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 showcases projects focused on the design of physical space and the potential it has to improve learning outcomes.

Featured projects will include, but are not limited to, learning spaces in support of early learning, K-12, higher education, and informal learning (museums, libraries, community spaces, etc.).

For frequently asked questions and answers about the competition, please review the Learn by Design FAQ.

How to Apply


Important Dates

Monday, June 25:
Application Opens
EXTENDED to Sunday, November 11:
Application Closes

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 areas including, but not limited to learning spaces in support of early learning, K-12, higher education, and informal learning (museums, libraries, community spaces, etc.). Please note that both designers and educators are encouraged to apply.

Selection Criteria

The evaluation of each application, conducted by the SXSW EDU Learn by Design Advisory Board committee as well as the SXSW EDU staff, is based on the following criteria:

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

Application Instructions

edu-2019-research-graphicSTEP 1 Research

Before beginning the application, determine if your project is the right fit for the competition by reviewing the eligibility requirements, FAQ, and the list of past finalists.

edu-2019-laptop-graphicSTEP 2 Online Application

Begin your application by clicking Start Application below. Please note there is a $45 application fee associated with the SXSW EDU Learn by Design application. Once you begin your application you can save your work and come back at a later time to finish and submit by the deadline.

Start Application

To submit your application you must create a free universal SXSW account. You may do this at the beginning of your application or it will prompt you once you are saving your information or submitting your application.

edu-2019-checklist-graphicSTEP 3 Review

Review your application and save any pertinent information one last time before you hit submit! After submitting your application you will not be able to edit or review the information.

STEP 4 Submit

Once you have completed the application and agreed to all of the terms and conditions, you are ready to submit!

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More on Learn by Design

Showcase Your Design Project

The Learn by Design competition elevates the design of physical learning spaces with the potential to impact learning outcomes. Apply for consideration, June 25 – November 9.

Apply Now

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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