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. It was built with the aim of promoting the investigation of architecture as a social art.
In fulfillment of its purpose, annually, the PRIZE Committee selects a topic important to the understanding of the interaction of people and the built world to become the focus of the Essay Competition.
This year, applications are being invited for the International Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Design Excellence 2020 Essay Contest. This is a three-stage essay contest that is open to all current full-time registered students in an undergraduate Architecture Degree program and to undergraduates majoring in Architecture or Diploma as well, who are students in accredited schools of Architecture worldwide.
So How Does The Essay Contest Work?
Typically, students enrolled in any accredited undergraduate architecture program or diploma in architecture program from all over the world are required to submit a 500-word essay proposal in English responding to the Essay Question.
For this year's essay competition, the architecture students must team up with undergraduates from allied arts and social sciences programs and submit proposals in teams of two.
The Selection Process:
From the hundreds of essay entries submitted, approximately 25-28 are selected by the PRIZE Committee as being promising. The selected student teams for the first essay topic, qualify as Semifinalists.
These Semifinalists are invited to submit a 2,500-word essay, again in English, expanding on their proposals.
This time around, a group of readers, consisting of committee members and invited colleagues, selects five-to-eight of the best essays of the semi-finalists.
After the selection, the committee send these essays to a jury of international academics and architects to select the winners.
At the conclusion of the Essay Competition submittals, all the Semi-finalists are also invited to submit entries for a BERKELEY PRIZE Travel Fellowship. Details for the Fellowship will be announced in the Spring of 2020.
There is a total prize of 35,000USD. The teams selected for the award would take home a minimum 9,000USD first prize.
To be eligible for the award, all proposals must be submitted by a two-member team and essays must be submitted in English.
Interested eligible teams are advised to apply.
The international Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectural Design Excellence (BERKELEY PRIZE) was founded and continues to be led by Raymond Lifchez, Professor of Architecture and City & Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley College of Environmental Design (CED), through the result of a generous gift to the CED's Department of Architecture by the late Judith Lee Stronach. Now celebrating twenty years of its existence, the BERKELEY PRIZE has had more than 2100 undergraduate architecture students participate from 69 countries and has presented 131 awards to 12... read more
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.
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 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:
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 for a BERKELEY PRIZE Travel Fellowship. Details for the Fellowship will be announced in the Spring 2020. Past Travel Fellowship Competition requirements, winning submissions, and follow-up reports by the winners are available to read here on the website.
Each criterion is given a score of 1 to 5 (5 being the highest). The top approximately 25 scoring Proposals become Semifinalists.
For more details, please visit the scholarship website here