design opportunity

Design for Opportunity: Removing Barriers to Education

Submission: July 12, 2018
Registration: July 12, 2018
Language: English, Spanish
Location: Concept
Prizes: Please see details below
Type: Open / Latin American countries


Access to quality education is the foundation of a thriving middle class and a functional democracy; it is one of the most important pieces of social infrastructure to any community. Creating equal access to education has been seen as an intractable problem. Local Architects have untapped creative solutions to problems that are unique to their communities.

USA Architects in collaboration with GC-LA is proud to announce a design competition with the goal to create a community of local Architects across the region, promoting new and creative ideas and increasing access to education through thoughtful design.

Architects throughout Latin America are invited to submit their ideas for new primary and/or secondary education buildings that will increase access to education for everyone in their communities. Entrants will be asked to select a project site and design a building or structure that will be judged on the categories below.

Identification of Barriers to Access: Identify a major barrier to access for education in your community. Barriers may include limitations concerning the ability to accommodate children with physical and intellectual disabilities, barriers caused by geography, or cost barriers, etc.

Local Investment: Choose a site for your building. How does that site take advantage of and increase the existing social and traditional infrastructure? Show us how this site was chosen to benefit not only the students, but the entire community. How does the site selection contribute to a design that removes barriers to education?

Structure of Pedagogy: What mode of educations will be implemented to instruct the students? How does the architectural design support the pedagogy? How is the curriculum standardized (or customized) to meet the needs of the students and teachers? How are the students supported after school session hours?

Breaking Down Barriers to Access: Tell us about your building/structure. What does it do to help break down your barriers to access? How is the design unique? How does the architecture support the students and teachers? Does it provide any accommodations for children with disabilities?

Aesthetics of Access: How do the aesthetics and details of the building convey meaning to the community? How successfully does your building consider (seamlessly flow into or change for the better) the surrounding geography?

Go to the competition’s website