SXSW 2014 Eco Light Garden - Photo by Aaron Rogosin Place by Design celebrates projects that achieve a positive social and environmental impact through the creation or re-imagining of public space.

Design profoundly shapes how we interact with and care for the places we inhabit. Good design fosters vibrant, well-maintained communities, while poor design can lead to fractured urban landscapes that lack a sense of place. Impactful design doesn't need to be a huge undertaking, it can be a simple as a crosswalk or sign that improves the urban experience. It can come from anyone, and in projects that improve places, it often comes from the community, rather than a top-down approach. Place by Design highlights all types of projects that impact the built environment including public art, urban interventions, urban design and architecture. We’re excited to showcase ideas in this competition that will inspire our attendees to re-imagine their own everyday surroundings. Place by Design is open to artists and designers at all levels of experience.

2015 Categories

Art + Interaction
Creative work that beautifies, raises awareness and transforms the way passers-by or users interact with public space.

Data + Tech
Innovative work that utilizes emerging technology to connect people and place, or uses data to generate impact.

Beyond sustainable, this work contributes to a more adaptive, resilient world.

Social Impact
Through process and/or final result, this work serves its community and provides incalculable social value.

Urban Strategy
Be it a block, village or city, this work encompasses more than a single space and includes an ongoing, long term vision.

Who Can Apply

Place by Design is open to all designers, organizations and levels of experience. No professional qualifications are required for entry.

Project Levels
Place by Design is open to multiple stages of projects, including Conceptual, In Planning, Undergoing Implementation and Completed within the past two years.

Applications are now closed. Stay tuned for the Finalists announcement later in the season.


Place by Design Finalists who are selected by the PXD Review Board will pitch their projects at SXSW Eco to attendees and the PXD Jury. In addition to the pitch competition, all SXSW Eco attendees will have access to sessions, workshops, bootcamps and connect sessions designed to advance PXD-style projects and build collaborations between attendees.

Over the past two years, SXSW Eco has featured close to 30 Winner and Finalist projects as part of the Place by Design Competition. 2014 Winners include Pavegen, which has gone on to form partnerships with Adidas and Shell, and secure half a million pounds in funding. +Pool is closer to becoming a reality for New Yorkers, with construction set to begin on August 1, 2015. Following SXSW Eco, bcWorkshop has received a grant to continue the Libros Libres project in 2015, supporting literacy and community design projects in Dallas. Click here to view more projects.

Contact: Julie Yost |

Place by Design Media Partners

GOODcorps and Architectural Digest are the official media partners for Place by Design
GOODcorps Architectural Digest

SXSW 2014 Eco Light Garden - Photo by Aaron Rogosin