2016 Berkeley Prize

Eligibility: The competition is open to all current full-time registered students in an undergraduate architecture degree program or undergraduates majoring in architecture in accredited schools of architecture worldwide. Two students (maximum) who meet the eligibility requirements above may collaborate as authors. An architecture student may team up with another undergraduate in architecture, landscape architecture, urban studies, arts and humanities, the social sciences, or engineering. If two students collaborate, then both names must appear on their essay and if awarded a prize, the prize is to be equally shared.

Language: English

Awards: There is a total prize of 20,000USD, minimum 5,500USD first prize.  The remaining purse is to be allocated at the discretion of the Jury.

1 November, 2015 – Stage One, 500-word essay proposal due.
December 2015 – Essay Semifinalists announced
1 February 2016 – (Stage Two) Essay Semifinalists’ 2,500-word essays due

Process: The Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Design Excellence endowment was established in the Department of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley College of Environmental Design to promote the investigation of architecture as a social art. Each year  the PRIZE Committee selects a topic important to the understanding of the interaction of people and the built world that becomes the focus of the Essay Competition. This year the topic is: Sheltering Those in Need: Architects Confront Homelessness.

The Committee poses a Question on this website related to the topic. Students enrolled in any accredited undergraduate architecture program or diploma in architecture program throughout the world are invited to submit a 500-word essay proposal in English responding to the Question.  Undergraduate architecture students may team up with undergraduates from allied arts and social sciences programs.

From the pool of essay proposals received, approximately 25 are selected by the PRIZE Committee as particularly promising. The 25 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 one of several BERKELEY PRIZE Travel Fellowships. Details for the Fellowships will be announced in the spring 2017.

2016 Essay Question: Who is doing what in your community to confront the issue of the men, women, young people, and children without any shelter? 

As both an individual and as a professional, how do you see yourself assisting in providing shelter to those in need?

Following are some guidelines to keep in mind as you write your proposal:

  1. Be sure that you can personally visit those in your community whom you identify.
  2. You must be able to visit at least one of their projects if it is built or being built.
  3. If the project is not yet built or theoretical, you must talk directly with them about it.

For more information, got to: http://www.berkeleyprize.org/competition/essay/2016