Design a 21st Century Library

Sponsored by the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF), the 2013 National High School Architecture Competition aims to promote architectural awareness and design problem-solving skills in high schools across the United States. The challenge is for students to redesign their high school library and rethink how their school’s library should, or could, function as technology advances and the notions of study and work change accordingly. The competition is open to any student at least 13 years old and currently enrolled in a US high school (grades 9–12). To be eligible for judging, a design project must include content (text and/or images) in each of the five steps of the design process. The five steps—Overview, Collect Info, Brainstorm Ideas, Develop Solutions, Final Design—are described in detail on the competition’s website. CAF’s partner,, is offering all students registered in the competition access to free online design software tutorials until the competition ends on May 14, 2013. The first-prize winner and one parent/guardian will receive a trip to Chicago, Illinois, in August 2013, and two tickets to a CAF river cruise and walking tour. The prize also includes a yearlong membership for design software tutorials from Black Spectacles ($280 value) and a copy of CAF’s The Architecture Handbook: A Student Guide to Understanding Buildings.

Deadlines: April 5, 2013, for registration; May 14, 2013, for submission of projects