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.
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. Qualified students may also team up with undergraduates from allied arts and social sciences programs and submit proposals in teams of two. (For general requirements see the To Enter page).
From the pool of essay proposals received, approximately 25-28 are selected by the PRIZE Committee as particularly promising. The selected 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 a proposal for a BERKELEY PRIZE summer Fellowship. This year, the opportunity is a Community Service Fellowship. Details for this new Fellowship will be announced in early 2021.
One member of the team must be a current full-time registered student in an undergraduate architecture degree program or an undergraduate majoring in architecture in an accredited school of architecture worldwide. Diploma in Architecture students who have not yet completed their Diploma are also eligible. The other member of the team must be a current full-time registered student in a non-architecture undergraduate degree program and majoring in that program in an accredited school worldwide. This could include urban studies, the social sciences, engineering, etc. Both students names must appear on their proposal and essay and if awarded a prize, the prize is to be equally shared.
You are asked to include digital photographs of your two selected buildings with your essay. The photographs should be at a minimum 500 pixels wide, and in .jpg format. No more than two photographs will be accepted. The photographs must have been taken by one member of the team. Photographs sourced on the internet will disqualify your entire submittal.
You are encouraged to include people in your photographs to indicate the building in use. The Readers are instructed NOT to add or detract points from their evaluation because of the quality of the photograph itself. To the contrary, one of the primary purposes of the essay format is to test your skill in describing a place or building in words, rather then pictures or drawings. Use the photographs to continually review how good a job you have done in describing your selected building(s) in words. The Readers will do the same.
Judging for the essay competition is on a numeric system. The members of the BERKELEY PRIZE Committee are asked to evaluate each essay in terms of the following criteria:
Each criterion is given a score of 1 to 5 (5 being the highest). The top approximately 25 scoring Proposals become Semifinalists.
There is a total prize of 35,000USD, minimum 9,000USD first prize. The remaining purse is to be allocated at the discretion of the Jury.
|September 15, 2019||Launch of 2020 Essay Competition.|
|November 1, 2019||(Stage One) 500-word essay proposal due.|
|Mid-December, 2019||Essay Semifinalists announced.|
|February 1, 2020||(Stage Two) Essay Semifinalists' 2,500-word essays due.|
|February 8, 2020||Launch of Travel Fellowship Competition for Essay Semifinalists.|
|Early-March, 2020||Essay Finalists announced.|
|March 12, 2020||Travel Fellowship Entries Due.|
|Mid-April, 2020||Essay winners and Travel Fellowship winners Announced.|
Read More About this Prize here http://www.berkeleyprize.org/competition/essay/2021
Registeration Link http://www.berkeleyprize.org/create-account
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