News Releases

SXSW EDU® Learn by Design Competition Announces Pathfinder Kindergarten Center as Winner

AUSTIN, Texas, March 7, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The SXSW EDU Conference & Festival announced that Pathfinder Kindergarten Center is the winner of the SXSW EDU Learn by Design competition. Following pitches from this year's 10 finalists, the company was named the winner at the awards ceremony hosted by VS America. Also recognized this year was the project D&F x Ghata, which was named an honorary winner in the competition.

Now in its second year, the Learn by Design competition celebrates the collaboration of designers and educators in the pursuit of creating groundbreaking physical learning environments. This year's projects range from a Syrian refugee portable classroom to a renovated kindergarten in Japan to a next generation community college in Houston, Texas. The top 10 finalists are:  Libraries of the Future – The Urban Learning ParkHEART Board PyramidD&F x Ghata  •Pathfinder Kindergarten CenterMissouri Innovation CampusDo SpaceSummit SierraWest Houston InstituteOutdoor Classroom for John Muir Middle SchoolKM Kindergarten and Nursery.

"There is more and more research that shows that physical space can impact students' engagement and learning," said Greg Rosenbaum, General Manager, SXSW EDU. "For the second year, we have seen this competition grow in every way and we are very happy that our community is so focused and engaged in this area.  Learn by Design celebrates the creativity, innovation and incredible design acumen happening globally. New ways of creating physical space alongside teaching and learning are illustrated this year—from collaborative learning environments to outdoor classrooms to the reimagined libraries. We are thrilled that SXSW EDU can serve as the global platform for this ongoing new design thinking."

The 10 finalists were selected with input from the Learn by Design Advisory Board and SXSW EDU Learn by Design team to compete onsite at SXSW EDU 2018. Please visit our website for more information about the 2018 Learn by Design finalists,

Each of the finalists worked with coaches to hone their presentation skills and project concepts. The coaches were Amy Jones (O'Connell Robertson), Adam Nye (City as Our Campus), Carlos Moreno (Big Picture Learning) and Taryn Kinney (DLR). The competition drew upon the insight and expertise of this year's judges, all of whom serve as designers, architects, and an education practitioner, who effectively evaluated each project based on its innovation and effectiveness. The 2018 Learn by Design judges were Kelley Tanner (BrainSpaces | Connextions), Michael Ford (Urban Arts Collective), Katie Kizziar (Thinkery) and Dan Coleman (Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning). The 2018 SXSW EDU Learn by Design competition was emceed by Raechel French (DLR Group) and Sam Seidel (Standford


The SXSW EDU® Conference & Festival cultivates and empowers a community of engaged stakeholders to advance teaching and learning. The annual four-day event affords registrants open access to engaging sessions, immersive workshops, interactive learning experiences, film screenings, early-stage startups, business opportunities and networking. SXSW EDU is a component of the South by Southwest® family of conferences and festivals. Join the passionate and innovative community at SXSW EDU, March 5-8, 2018 in Austin, Texas. For more information, please visit SXSW

Liz Stein
SXSW EDU Press & Publicity