Join us for Design-a-thon 2020

Our fourth annual Design-a-thon is just around the corner! Austin Design Week is packed full with free events that explore many design disciplines and topics, but Design-a-thon (which is also free) is your chance to apply design thinking to real-time issues, collaborate with fellow designers, and get involved with actionable change.

To kick off Design-a-thon, you will be presented with a major problem facing Austin. Teams will then work together, alongside designer mentors across design practices to come up with design-based solutions to the issue. At the end of the week, teams will pitch their solutions to a panel of experts who will choose one winning team.

For example, during last year’s Design-a-thon, teams were asked to come up with a design solution for the lack of people of color in leadership positions in tech. The winning pitch was an app, similar to LinkedIn, designed specifically for women of color that offered mentorship matching, training modules, and goal setting to help people move into leadership positions. Through research, the winning team determined that women of color are often overlooked on apps like LinkedIn. Using this discovery, they addressed the problem of mentorship and leadership opportunity for women of color.

Though this year’s Design-a-thon will take place virtually, the collaborative energy of design thinking and the impact of these solutions will remain the same.

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Here’s how it works:

You can apply as a team of five or individually. If you don’t have a team at the time of registration, we’ll assign you to a group at the opening event. We strongly encourage individuals who are interested in participating to join as this is a great opportunity to meet a new group of like-minded creators!

All team members must be present for kickoff and research playbacks, and all are welcome to attend the final pitches. Up to five members are allowed per team and there must be a minimum of three team members to compete. We encourage anyone interested to participate, even if you don’t have design experience. No experience is required and all types of backgrounds are welcome!

At our kickoff pitch event on Saturday, November 7th, teams will be presented with this year’s challenge. Teams will also learn and leverage the latest design methodologies to 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.

On Monday, November 9th, teams chosen to compete for the week will be paired with a Design Thinking mentor to help guide them to success and to a final solution. This is a chance to learn from some of Austin’s best design mentors.

Teams will pitch their ideas to a panel of industry experts on Friday, November 13th. As the Design-a-thon is focused on building up new designers, connection, and solving for real world problems, the winning team will receive a cash prize of $1000 (total) and $250 in General Assembly class credits for each team member.

Please note that this is a multi-part event and you must attend all sessions to participate.

Learn more about Design-a-thon and register for the events here.