The Fifthteenth Annual Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectual Design Excellence 2013
Berkeley Prize 2013

Bannert - Bio

I grew up in a town named Uckfield, East Sussex, England. Shortly after completing my A-levels, I attended the Bartlett architecture summer school at University College London. This course was where my fascination and love for architecture was born.

After the summer I attended Art foundation for 1 year in Eastbourne. Here I developed my 3D thinking and was able to explore and experiment with a wide range of materials, unleashing my creativity. I then enrolled in the University of Lincoln, to study Architecture. During the summer of my first year, I travelled to Singapore alone for three months, to join an award winning architect’s firm, where I learnt from experienced practitioners. Throwing myself into the deep end taught me alot. Being suddenly immersed into a completely foreign culture and put under real-world work pressure was a real insight into the profession and stretched my limits.

During the summer of my second year at The University of Lincoln, I took part in a short course at The Centre of Alternative Technology (Wales); ‘Appropriate building methods’. This course filled me with passion. It was as if my eyes had been closed up until this point in time. Here I learnt about sustainable, intelligent ways of building, and how to apply them in any country in the world using only the materials in a local radius. I learnt all about different methods of building, in a hands-on approach to learning. I constructed my own bridge out of recycled timber; the sense of achievement and satisfaction after I had completed it was immense!

I am now studying my third year of architecture. After watching the 2012 Paralympics I have realised that the architectural world is full of boundaries and barriers to physically disabled members of society; but with determination and courage, they can be overcome. It highlighted to me that I have a moral responsibility in the future, as an architect, to create accommodating architecture which empowers all who encounter it. Architects have the power to make the world more accessible to everybody and change people’s lives for the better. I want to help push architecture in the right direction and facilitate for everybody in the most sustainable and energy efficient ways. The beauty and function of a building can be vastly improved by simple details and careful considerations to remove barriers, empowering everybody.


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Ms. Sophia Bannert, University of Lincoln, Lincoln United Kingdom
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