SXSW 2014 Eco Light Garden - Photo by Aaron Rogosin Place by Design honors visionary works that achieve a positive social or environmental impact through the creation or re-imagining of everyday places.

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.

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.

2015 Categories

Public Space
Projects meant for community use - from temporary transportation and way-finding initiatives to parks and urban design.

Innovative Architecture
Buildings and permanent structures that fit the criteria for a positive social and environmental impact.

Public Art
Creative works in any media that are accessible to all.

Digital Space
Apps that transform how people interact with public space or other projects located at the intersection of tech and place design.

Disaster Response
From pop up hospitals to rapid deployment housing, structures designed to relieve the impact of epidemics, natural disasters and conflict.


Applications are open through Friday, June 26.

Apply Now

Contact: Julie Yost |

Place by Design Media Partners

GOODcorps is an official media partner for Place by Design

SXSW 2014 Eco Light Garden - Photo by Aaron Rogosin