2017 Berkeley Prize: Architecture Reveals Communities

1 Nov 2016

1 November 2016 – Stage One essay deadline

Type: open, international (essay prize competition)

Language: English

Eliigibility: Undergraduate Students

The Berkeley Prize

Each year, the PRIZE Committee selects a topic critical to the discussion of the social art of architecture and poses a Question based on that topic. Full-time undergraduate students enrolled in any architecture degree program or majoring in architecture throughout the world (or teams of two students, one of whom may be from a collateral discipline) are invited to submit a 500-word Essay proposal responding to the Question.

From the pool of essay proposals received, approximately 25 are selected by the PRIZE Committee as particularly promising. The selected individual students, or student teams, become Semifinalists.

These Semifinalists are invited to submit a 2,500-word essay, again in English, expanding on their proposals. A group of readers, composed of Committee members and invited colleagues, selects five-to-eight of the best essays and sends these Finalist essays to a jury of international academics and architects to select the winners.

At the conclusion of the Essay Competition submittals, all Semifinalists are also invited to submit for a BERKELEY PRIZE Travel Fellowship. Details for the Fellowship will be announced in the spring 2017. Past Travel Fellowship Competition requirements, winning submissions, and follow-up reports by the winners are available to read here on the website.


The Berkeley Prize is US$25,000


November 1, 2016

(Stage One) 500-word essay proposal due.

Mid-December, 2016

Essay Semifinalists announced.

February 1, 2017

(Stage Two) Essay Semifinalists’ 2,500-word essays due.

February 8, 2017

Launch of Travel Fellowship Competition for Essay Semifinalists.

Early-March, 2017

Essay Finalists announced.

March 12, 2017

Travel Fellowship Entries Due.

Essay challenge:

As a community, people may build a new structure or repurpose and remodel an existing structure to serve their specific population.  In either case, the chosen location within the city, whether intentional or not, is clearly meant to express and symbolize the community’s presence in the diverse urban fabric of the city.  Your design studio most probably reflects a population of mixed parentage, a multitude of different personal histories, and various religious, political, and cultural affiliations. You are now asked to go out of your studio and into your city to investigate and document how these very same differences are reflected in the city’s architecture. 

Website: http://www.berkeleyprize.org/competition/essay/2017

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