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Starbase Design Competition

This is your challenge: Design an intersection between the worlds of the small city of Brownsville and the new SpaceX Starbase facility.
Starbase Design Competition
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Important Dates

Submission Deadline: December 31, 2021

Voting Opens: January 5, 2022

Voting Closes: January 31, 2022

Event Participants Announced: February 3, 2022


The space travel revolution has become a current reality rather than a futuristic dream. At the forefront of this future reality is SpaceX. This ambitious company is spearheading the development of the world’s most advanced spacecraft with the vision of distant space travel and even settlement on Mars.

To help make this happen, SpaceX is building a special facility in Texas called Starbase. It will host important production facilities and launch sites for its upcoming, fully-reusable rocket called Starship.

The Starbase facility is in a rural area, close to the Gulf of Mexico and the small city of Brownsville Texas. This city of only 180,000 people, will soon be at the forefront of space technology and is already growing from the influence of its new neighbor.

SpaceX is currently hiring hundreds of people for the Starbase facility. These new employees will need places to live, eat, sleep, and relax. This will create opportunities for development in both Starbase and Brownsville. 

This is your challenge: Design an intersection between the worlds of the small city of Brownsville and the new SpaceX Starbase facility.

We can all imagine the opportunities and challenges that may come with the growth of the Starbase facility. Most of these opportunities and challenges center around how it will influence the surrounding community and one day become a hub for space exploration.

At DesignClass, we think there is an important opportunity to develop this merging of two worlds: one of a small city and the other of an advanced space facility. 

How can this be a model for human-centered architecture that shows consideration for community, sustainability and affordability, as well as the heights of human ingenuity and creativity?

What makes this competition special? We are hosting a live event in Brownsville to show off your designs.

Step 1

Judges and Designer’s Choice Voting

All approved submissions will be judged by a panel of anonymous designers. These designers will focus on key criteria as they analyze each design. The judges will select 5-15 designs for inclusion in the live event.

All approved submissions will also be opened to public voting on This is a great chance for the design community to influence the results. Public voting will be live from January 5th - 31st, 2022. The top 5-15 submissions with the most verified votes will be included in the live event.

Step 2

Live event in Brownsville Texas.

Rather than focusing on prizes and temporary acclaim, we will be bringing YOUR DESIGNS directly to the community they impact. The top 10-25 designs from the judges and public-voting process will be displayed at an in-person exhibition held in Brownsville, Texas in early 2022. 

We will be hosting community leaders, designers, government representatives, SpaceX representatives, real estate professionals, and other key stakeholders in the Brownsville/SpaceX area at this event.

We will be displaying your printed Poster Board at this event. Don’t worry, DesignClass will handle printing and setup. If your design is selected for display, you are also invited to come to the event and present your work.

Design Guidelines 

Your challenge is to design an important intersection that marks the connection point between Brownsville and Starbase. 

Base your design on what you think will work best for the context of the site, considering the needs of local citizens, Starbase employees, tourists, and anyone else moving through the intersection.

The intersection is split by Boca Chica Blvd which runs West to East. This road directly represents the transition from a traditional city life to the wild unknown of the space industry. The site is also extremely close to the USA/Mexico border. How might this neighboring culture provide additional inspiration?

To be successful in this design competition consider what specific goals you have for this intersection; it is bringing two worlds together. What will you focus on? How will you address tourism, entertainment, housing, businesses, hotels, civic landmarks, and other commercial and recreational functions? 

Consider how it acts as a gate to both Starbase and Brownsville. If one day, spaceships land at Starbase and people drive into town, what will they see? Alternatively, if people go to visit Starbase, how might this intersection introduce them to an exciting future?

The precise site and location details will be provided after registration.

Submission Guidelines

For this competition you will be submitting One Isometric view of the intersection and (4-5) renderings of your designs. These images will be submitted independently and can be part of a Presentation Poster Board that will be part of our event. Please see the full list of submission elements below.

  • 1 Isometric View of the Site showing all 4 corners. (See some examples)
  • 2-5 Rendered Views in jpeg or jpg format. (16x9 and Square Templates provided upon registration)
  • 24x36 ArchD Presentation Poster Board (Template provided upon registration)
  • Min. 500 Word written description

Templates will be provided after registration.

Important Submission Rules

  • No logos in the images.
  • Images must be 1x1 square or 16x9 ratio. (Templates upon registration).
  • Keep text in the images to a minimum. No text is better.
  • Isometric & Rendering Images must be in jpg. format
  • Isometric & Rendering Images must be under 3mb each.


How do I register?

-Sign up for the DesignClass All-Access Pass. After you register, you'll have access to this design competition and all our classes too.

Can I submit as a team?

-Yes, one person must register and pay for DesignClass and then can submit on behalf of the team. Only one person needs to register.

Is this competition open to students?

-Yes, this competition is open to students and professionals. Students receive a registration discount.

Do I have to live in the USA to participate? Is this competition open to me?

-This competition is open to anyone from anywhere.

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