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Teams take on the city's biggest design challenges in this week-long Design-A-Thon.

Presented by:

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Design solutions to some of Austin's biggest challenges

Welcome to the gauntlet! It’s the third annual Austin Design Week Design-a-thon. Enter to bring your own team of creators or come as an individual and find others to form an awesome new team. Only five teams max for the final competition!

In this multi-part event, teams will compete to improve outcomes of Austin’s biggest problems. We’ll bring the big problems to solve, you bring the skill and passion to solve them. This is where Austin Design Week meets actionable change in our city. The winning members of the winning team will be awarded SXSW Badges, thanks to our friends at SXSW!


Overview of Events:

Saturday Oct 26th 1-5pm

  • Kickoff + Mini-pitch competition

Monday Nov 4th 4-7pm

  • Research Presentations: Your team pitches the research done so far and the top 5 teams will be selected to move on as finalists.

Thursday Nov 7th 5-6:30pm

  • Final Playback. This is it: 5 teams enter and pitch their research and possible solutions to a panel of judges. 1 team leaves with SXSW badges.

Kickoff + Mini-pitch competition

At our kick-off pitch event, teams will learn and leverage the latest design tools and methodologies and make an initial pitch to compete in the final Design-a-thon. Up to five teams of five will be chosen for the final round! Each team will then be paired with a Design Thinking mentor to help guide your team to success and to a final solution. Teams will pitch their ideas to a panel of industry experts on Thursday, November 8th. The winning members of the winning team will be awarded SXSW Interactive Badges!!!

Who should join?

Visual Designers, Policy Wonks, Researchers, Activists, Developers, and the like; anyone looking to feel the rush of creating something from nothing in a short time is welcome. Gain skills, meet new people, win awards, make an impact in our community.

What do I get out of attending?

  • Meet an awesome new group of like-minded creators

  • Create something impactful in a super short amount of time

  • Learn from some of the best designer mentors in Austin

  • Awards! Yes, you’ll get some sweet goodies for winning the competition.

  • Design Thinking + Workshop Facilitation mentorship

How to Apply:

Teams or individuals may apply by registering for the kick off (please register for each person on your team separately). If you don’t have a team, we’ll form them for you at the opening event. All team members must be present for kickoff and research playbacks (but you really should attend the final pitches too!). Max of 5 team members allowed per team.


Design-a-thon Kick-Off and Mini-Pitch Competition

October 26, 2019 1pm - 5pm

  • In this multi-part event, teams will compete to improve outcomes of Austin’s biggest problems. You'll have the chance to win SXSW 2020 badges!
  • Walmart Technology
  • 409 Colorado St, Suite B
  • Austin, TX 78701

Design-a-thon Final Playback

November 7, 2019 5pm - 6:30pm

Join us to watch the final pitches from our Design-a-thon teams! Cheer them on as they present their designs and compete in the third annual Design-a-thon.

  • Walmart Technology
  • 409 Colorado St, suite B
  • Austin, TX 78701