illustration by Fakurian Design via unsplash

The online submission portal is now open.


The Texas Society of Architects and the Education Outreach Committee are excited to launch the inaugural Texas Society of Architects Student Design Challenge. This challenge is designed to recognize the incredible work done at the middle and high school levels 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. Design solutions that go beyond the boundaries of architecture to address the challenge’s theme of SHELTER are highly encouraged.

The 2021 Student Design Challenge jurors will be announced on our blog website and social media accounts. All submissions will be reviewed and evaluated by the Education Outreach Committee. The committee will select the finalists in each category for final review by the jury. The jury will be reviewing the finalists’ submissions and presentations during the 82nd Annual Conference and Design Expo in San Antonio on October 7-9, 2021. If possible, the finalists may be asked to present their project to the jury either live, virtually, or via pre-recorded video at the conference. Jurors will base their decisions on the entrants’ design submissions and final presentations. Jurors will deliberate at the conference. Once the final selections have been made, winners will be notified and then announced.

Finalists and winners will be recognized at the Texas Society of Architects’ 82nd Annual Conference and Design Expo, which will take place in San Antonio on October 7–9, 2021. Winning submissions will then be published on our blog.


Noun: A shielded or safe condition; protection.
A place giving temporary protection from bad
weather or danger. A place providing food and accommodations (as to the homeless).

Verb: Protect or shield from something harmful. Find refuge or take cover from danger. Prevent someone from having to do or face something difficult or unpleasant.


What if going to school every day wasn’t the only thing you had to worry about? What if you had to find food and shelter for yourself each day? What if your friends didn’t have somewhere safe and comfortable to go to after school?

In the 2018-2019 school year alone, the Texas Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program reported approximately 114,055 students as being homeless. Just imagine yourself and/or your friends in that situation. What do you think would solve the issue? Can a unique design or product be a solution to this problem?

We want you to consider this idea of “shelter” and how it is a vital part of our everyday lives. And once you don’t have it, everything begins to focus around trying to obtain it. We challenge you (and/or your team) to come up with a creative design solution for “shelter”. If possible, consider critical issues involving “shelter” in your local community and target your solution towards solving a shelter problem local to you and your friends.


All entries must be received no later than 5:00 pm (Central) on Sunday, September 26, 2021.

Entries will be submitted online. The online submission portal is now open.


Download the all submission information here.

Leave a Comment