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2009 Open Architecture Challenge: Classroom

Design the classroom of the future

According to the World Bank, educating all children worldwide will require the construction of 10 million new classrooms in more than 100 countries by 2015. At the same time, millions of existing classrooms are in serious need of repair and refurbishment. We asked designers and architects to partner with students and teachers to envision the classroom of the future. We have received some fantastic classroom designs which are now available for viewing.

The competition may be over but the need for better designed classrooms still continues. Submit your design to the Open Architecture Network and tell us about it at

Architects and designers, you can still work with students and teachers continuing to spread awareness about the learning environment. Address the challenges schools face in trying to provide smart, safe and sustainable learning spaces.

Classroom Upgrade Fund

Through this competition we have identified hundreds of classroom upgrading projects and all we need is a little help from you to turn these ideas in reality.

Learn how you can help upgrade classrooms.


Or, Donate through Paypal

Press Room

Download the latest press kit here.
See all the Awards
Media inquiries:

Traveling Exhibit

The Traveling Exhibition will commence in Fall 2009 and run until Spring/Summer 2010. If you would like to host one, email us at

Locations of Participating Schools

Click on the map to locate the design entry for each school that entered.

Documentary by AfterED TV

Do Something.Do Design.

Do Something

Want to have your Do Something projects exhibited around the world? Share you research and designs here. Its simple. Just register and upload your projects to be selected for the traveling exhibit.

Students and Teachers

Together with our educational partners we have developed resources for teachers and students to help understand your learning environment and an introduction to architecture.

Competition Details

Host: Architecture for Humanity

Registration Deadline: May 4, 2009

Submission Deadline: June 1, 2009

Entry Fee: $25 USD (waived for entrants from developing nations)

Jury: Leaders in education and architecture (including students) to be hosted online and at the 2009 Aspen Ideas Festival. Members include Dave Eggers, Michelle Kaufmann, Saul Griffith, Kigge Hvid and others.

Award: If your design wins, your school will receive up to $50,000 in funding for classroom construction and upgrading. You will receive a grant of $5,000 to help them do it.


Questions, comments, suggestions?
Contact us at:

The Challenge Winner

School: Teton Valley Community School, Victor, Idaho
Design Team: Section Eight [design], Victor, Idaho

Open Architecture Challenge: Classroom Winner Announcement at Teton Valley Community School in Victor, Idaho - September, 2009

Learn More

Founders' Award

School: The Corporación Educativa y Social Waldorf, Bogota, Colombia
Design Team: Arquitectura Justa, Bogota, Colombia
Learn More

Category Winners

Urban Classroom Upgrade, India
School: Rumi School of Excellence, Hyderabad, India
Design Team: IDEO
Learn More
Rural Classroom Addition, Uganda
School: Building Tomorrow Academy, Wakiso and Kiboga, Uganda
Design Team: Gifford LLP, London, United Kingdom
Learn More
Relocatable Classroom Design
School: Druid Hills High School (DeKalb County School System), Atlanta, Georgia
Design Team: Perkins + Will, Atlanta, United States
Learn More

Additional Finalists and Awards

To see all the finalists, technical awards and honorable mentions go to the Awards Page

Student Participation

See how students contributed to the design of their own classroom.

Stories from Participants

"This project we are proposing is in a very rural part of morocco. We have videos and design info that is on its way to us from there via donkey, and messenger to closest village 4 hours away to be uploaded from a memory key..." -Todd Smith, United States Read More

Conversations between Students and Architects

View larger videos
Webcasts from Global Nomads

School Building Partners

Urban Classroom Upgrade
Rumi Schools of Excellence, Orient Global’s chain of low-cost private schools, is the first chain of truly affordable private schools in India. Rumi Schools of Excellence aims at improve educational quality by providing assistance with management, curriculum, teacher training, and upgrading of the existing school facilities. These schools provide an education to low-income communities at an affordable cost.

Relocatable Classroom Design
Design relocatable classrooms with the Modular Building Institute and Blazer Industries.

Rural Classroom Addition
Develop innovative design solutions for classrooms for Building Tomorrow.

Competition Details

  • Name: 2009 Open Architecture Challenge: Classroom
  • Host: Architecture for Humanity
  • Type: Public
  • Registration Deadline: May 4, 2009
  • Submission Deadline: June 1, 2009
  • Entry Fee: $25 USD Developed Nations , $0 USD Developing Nations
  • Award: $50,000 for the winning school for classroom construction and upgrading, and $5,000 stipend for the design team.
  • Contact: Sandhya
  • Status: Winners Announced