2013 Discover Design National High School Architecture Competition

Redesign your high school library as a place for people, not just books.

Get started on the design challenge for this year’s competition.

Curious about last year’s competition winners? See their creative solutions to the challenge of redesigning their school cafeteria for healthy eating in a sustainable space. Congratulations to last year’s top 10 national finalists named from among the 110 student entries submitted from 13 states for the 2012 Competition!

2013 Discover Design National High School Architecture Competition

What is the DiscoverDesign.org National High School Architecture Competition?
Sponsored by the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF), the aim of this competition is to promote architectural awareness and design problem solving skills in high school students across the United States. The competition utilizes DiscoverDesign.org, CAF’s new digital learning tool which connects teens, teachers and architects for 21st century project-based learning.


This competition is open to any student at least 13 years old and currently enrolled as a United States high school student (grades 9 – 12) within the 50 United States. You may only enter as an individual and may only submit one design project.


More details HERE

In order to be eligible for judging, your design project must include uploaded content (text and/or images) in all of the five steps of the design process on DiscoverDesign.org, including: Overview, Collect Info, Brainstorm Ideas, Develop Solutions, and Final Design.

There is no cost to enter this competition.  Mail-in submissions of design projects will not be accepted.

By participating you understand and will comply with these guidelines established here.

Design Challenge Background

Libraries are no longer being used as places to store and distribute books, nor do they serve as place for only studying. With changes in technology, libraries have been forced to change their ways of operating. Instead of closing their doors, they are adapting by becoming People-Centric instead of being Book-Centric. They become community resources for collaborating, creating, and making.

Design Challenge Brief

The challenge is to redesign your high school library and re-think how your school’s library should, or could, function as technology advances and our notion of study and working changes accordingly. What does a library look like that is designed around a person’s knowledge needs instead of only storing and cataloging books?

You may redesign the interior of the existing library space, expand on the existing space, or design a completely new addition on to your school building. Your design should contain all the spaces and functions required for a typical school library – a variety of seating options for students (inside and out!), as well as book and media storage, space for the librarian, computer areas, audio/visual labs, and meeting spaces. You may also want to include a cafe, information kiosk, or a workshop area. The redesigned library should include ideas for both old and new ideas for a library. You should also consider sustainability issues and the environmental impact of your design.

2013 Competition Schedule

Competition open for registration and submissions February 12
Registration and consent forms deadline Postmarked, emailed, or faxed to CAF by Friday, April 5
All project submissions deadline Tuesday, May 14 at 8:00pm, CDT
Project judging – Round 1 May 2013
10 Finalists announced June 2013
Project judging – Round 2 June 2013
Top 3 Winners announced June 2013
First place winner available to claim prize and visit Chicago August 2013