2010 Berkeley Prize launches in October

Professor Raymond Lifchez, Chair of the international Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectural Design Excellence announces that the 2010 Berkeley Prize launches on October 1, 2009. Each year the prize, whose primary goal is to foster a larger awareness and understanding of the social art of architecture, sponsors an Essay Competition, a Travel Fellowship Competition, and an Architectural Design Fellowship Competition. All are open to undergraduates studying architecture throughout the world.   


A total of $9,500 in prize money is awarded to the Essay Competition winners with a guaranteed $4,000 first place prize. The Travel Fellow is given round-trip airfare and a stipend to attend a significant architectural event in the summer of 2009. The Architectural Design Fellow is given a $2,500 honorarium and money to fund prizes for a local design competition.


Students are asked to submit a 500-word essay proposal in response to a posted question. The 2008 prize question revolves around the topic of historic preservation/heritage conservation. The proposals are due on November 15, 2009.


Approximately 25 student semifinalists are invited to expand their proposal into a 2,500-word essay due in mid-February, 2010. From this pool, 5-7 finalist essays are forwarded to the 2008 Berkeley Prize Essay jury, who will select first-, second- and third-place winners. The entire operations of the prize, including all submittals and judging are done online.


This year the Berkeley Prize Jury includes: 


* Maristella Casciato , Chair, DOCOMOMO International

* Andrew Dolkart, Associate Professor at Columbia University and Director, Historic Preservation Program

* Maire O’Neill, AIA, Associate Professor at Montana State University and Member, Berkeley Prize Committee

* John Stubbs, Associate Professor at Columbia University, and Vice President for Field Projects, World Monuments Fund

* Johannes Widodo, Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore, Director of CASA (Centre for Advanced Studies in Architecture), and Executive Editor of the Journal of Southeast Asian Architecture


Semifinalists are also offered the opportunity to compete for one of the two 2010 Berkeley Prize Fellowships. For the Travel Fellowship, students are asked to propose an architectural destination connected with their Essay response and that reflects some service component. For the Design Fellowship, semifinalists are invited to submit proposals for a design competition to be held at their school that further investigates this year’s topic and question. 


During the past 11 years, over 900 students from 46 countries have participated in the various competitions. Among the several awards the Berkeley Prize has received, the latest is a national American Institute of Architects Collaborative Achievement Honor Award presented at this year’s national conference.


The full agenda and history of the Berkeley Prize are best explained by visiting the website at www.berkeleyprize.org, which includes archives of all of the years’ competitions.