The Voice for Texas Architecture

Student Design Challenge

Showcasing the profession’s future leaders & designers by recognizing the outstanding work of Texas middle & high school students.

Student Design Challenge

Showcasing the profession’s future leaders & designers by recognizing the outstanding work of Texas middle & high school students.

Program Overview

The Texas Society of Architects and the Education Outreach Committee are proud to host the annual Student Design Challenge. This challenge is designed to recognize the incredible work done at the middle and high school levels in Texas and to showcase our industry’s future leaders and designers. Designs of all types are acceptable, including buildings, structures, community centers, temporary housing, and transportation. Theoretical design solutions such as cell phone apps, events or festivals, and any other non-traditional design solutions are acceptable.

2024 Student Design Challenge

Guidelines and the 2024 Design Challenge brief are now available! The entry portal will open on August 12, and submissions will be due Monday, September 16 by 5:00 PM CT.

Finalists and winners will be recognized at the Texas Society of Architects’ 85th Annual Conference and Design Expo, which will take place in Houston on October 3–5, 2024.

2024 Student Design Challenge Brief

Theme: The Bridge: Community + Connector

A bridge is often identified as a physical element tying two places together, often overcoming an impassable pathway. As designers, we have the rare opportunity to create something unexpected. While bridges can be recognized as a physical connector, it can also be a metaphorical bridge connecting communities, cultures, or persons. Students are encouraged to explore ideas to reimagine an existing bridge in or near the place of their choosing.

Sparking Your Creativity:

  • Can you activate an existing bridge in your community and make it a destination in addition to a connector — park, sporting field, dog park, farmers market, etc.?
  • Can you change the use of the bridge and reimagine new connections — public park, shopping mall, animal crossing, pedestrian crossing, sky bridge between buildings, etc.?
  • What is a gap in your community that could be redefined by the design of a “bridge”?
  • Study a particular environment or culture in your community and use those elements to influence your design for a built intervention to bring communities closer together.

Project Eligibility

To be considered for a 2024 Texas Society of Architects Student Design Challenge finalist, projects must be submitted in accordance with the following requirements:

  • Projects can be submitted by either an individual student or a group of students (no more than four) currently in either middle school or high school in the state of Texas.
  • Projects must be submitted in their appropriate category based upon their current grade as of August 2024:
  • Middle School Category (Grades 6 – 8)
  • High School Category (Grades 9 – 12)
  • If a group of students that contains multiple grades submits, they must submit into the category of their oldest (by grade) student.
  • Each project must have a supervisor, such as a teacher, counselor, parent, etc. Supervisors are encouraged to support and engage with students about their submissions, but cannot submit the project on the student’s behalf.
  • Students may enter the challenge as both an individual entrant and also in a student group submission. No student may be included in more than one group submission.

Awards

  • Middle School | Most Outstanding Individual
  • Middle School | Most Outstanding Group
  • High School | Most Outstanding Individual
  • High School | Most Outstanding Group
  • Either Category | Honorable Mention

Selection & Criteria

All submissions will be reviewed and evaluated by the Education Outreach Committee, which will select the finalists in each category for final review by jurors using the following criteria:

  • Meets Submission Criteria (5 pts)
  • Design & Process (5 pts)
  • Quality & Craftsmanship (5 pts)
  • Meets Design Challenge Brief (5 pts)

Submission Requirements

Projects should be entered as PDF presentations via Submittable form when the portal opens on August 12. Download the PDF of the full challenge guidelines, requirements, and presentation tips.

Examples

See these projects below to help spark ideas. Remember, this competition is open to your interpretation of the theme and your own creative design solution.

Promotional & Informational Resources

The Texas Society of Architects 2023 Student Design Challenge, themed “EMERGE: EVOLUTION THROUGH DESIGN” saw 84 submissions come in from 14 different high schools across 12 Texas cities. We received 48 individual projects and 36 team projects.

Six finalists presented at our 84th Annual Conference & Design Expo in Fort Worth on November 2, 2023, and jurors selected two winning projects. Thank you to all who entered and congratulations to the winners!

2023 Most Outstanding Individual
Children’s Healing Center

Mayar Badi
The Guthrie Center | 11th Grade
Houston

2023 Most Outstanding Team
Veru Asilo

Andrea Rodriguez | Joanna Rubio | Miranda Serrano | Jonas Zamora
El Dorado High School | 12th Grade
El Paso