The Eighteenth Annual Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectural Design Excellence 2016
Berkeley Prize 2016

Stage 1: Enter

Steps to Enter

  1. Meet the Eligibility Requirements.
  2. Write a 500-word proposal for an essay on this year's Essay Question, as posted.
  3. Provide two photographs of your chosen project.
  4. Submit the essay and photographs online.

Eligibility

  1. 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. Diploma in Architecture students who have not yet completed their Diploma are also eligible.
  2. Essays must be submitted in English.
  3. Finalists will be required to provide proof of current registration in the form of copies of actual school transcripts. You are still eligible to compete if you were an undergraduate student on September 15, 2015, but graduate before the awards are scheduled to be given.

Team Up

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.


Photograph Requirement

You are asked to include two digital photographs of your selected building(s) or place(s) 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. You can use a digital camera, a film camera (and scan the printed image), or even capture the image on a cell phone. The photographs should be as informative as possible in order to enable those reading the essays to determine how well you have described your subject matter. 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.  As with the Readers, use the photographs to continually review how good a job you have done in describing your selected building(s) or places in words.


Judging Criteria

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:

  1. Does the Proposal address the Question?
  2. How creative, or creatively developed, is the Proposal?
  3. Would the Proposal be clear to a broad audience?
  4. How does the Proposal rank in terms of writing style?
  5. How socially significant is the Proposal?
  6. What is the potential for developing this Proposal into a strong essay?

Each Proposal is given a score of 1 to 5 (5 being the highest). The top 25 scoring Proposals become Semifinalists.


Purse

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.


Calendar

September 15, 2015 Launch of 2015 Essay Competition.
November 1, 2015 (Stage One) 500-word essay proposal due.
Mid-December, 2015 Essay Semifinalists announced.
February 1, 2016 (Stage Two) Essay Semifinalists' 2,500-word essays due.
February 8, 2016 Launch of Travel Fellowship Competition for Essay Semifinalists.
Early-March, 2016 Essay Finalists announced.
March 12, 2016 Travel Fellowship Entries Due.
Mid-April, 2016 Essay winners and Travel Fellowship winners Announced.
Early Spring, 2016 Launch of Teaching Fellowship Competition for undergraduate architecture (faculty).

Copyright

By submitting your essay, you give the BERKELEY PRIZE the nonexclusive, perpetual right to reproduce the essay or any part of the essay, in any and all media at the BERKELEY PRIZE’s discretion.  A “nonexclusive” right means you are not restricted from publishing your paper elsewhere if you use the following attribution that must appear in that new placement: “First submitted to and/or published by the Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectural Design Excellence (www.BerkeleyPrize.org) in competition year 20(--) (and if applicable) and winner of that year’s (First, Second, Third…) Essay prize.” Finally, you warrant the essay does not violate any intellectual property rights of others and indemnify the BERKELEY PRIZE against any costs, loss, or expense arising out of a violation of this warranty.


Registration and Submission

You will be asked to complete a short registration form which will not be seen by members of the BERKELEY PRIZE Committee or Jury.

REGISTER HERE.


Additional Help and Information

Are you in need of assistance? Please email info@berkeleyprize.org.
A one-room home, shelter for a migrant worker in Beijing, China.  Photo by Jose Guerrero, 2014.Makeshift shelters assembled migrant workers made from found materials, Beijing, China.  Photo by Jose Guerrero, 2014.Adaptive re-use of a storage container being offered as shelter on a nightly basis at the rate of 1USD per night in Shanghai, China.  Photo by Tony Lin, 2014.Park benches serve as “home” for those without shelter, each of whom neatly stack their belongings beneath their chosen spot in Hong Kong.  Photo by Benjamin Clavan, 2015.Abandoned shipping containers located near the waterfront (and one of the city’s refuse dumps) are commandeered by those without shelter who have transformed the steel boxes into living units, complete with pirated electricity in Shanghai, China.  Photo by Benjamin Clavan, 2015.Detail of the Shanghai, China shipping container shelters.  Here, the resident(s) have even created a small outdoor garden area by laying down a piece of found indoor/outdoor carpet to create a small area of “grass”.  Photo by Benjamin Clavan, 2015.Those without shelter live on the streets as best they can: on this day, trying their best to avoid being soaked by the frequent rain in Shanghai, China while they continue to beg for money.  Photo by Benjamin Clavan, 2015.The Shanghai, China home for this double-amputee is a cart, pulled by his companion.  The slots underneath are stuffed with the two men’s belongings.  They survive by begging.  Photo by Benjamin Clavan, Shanghai, 2015.An obviously educated man creates a home for himself in the exterior foyer of an abandoned building in Valencia, Spain.  Photo by Benjamin Clavan, 2015.Urban Caterpillar Design for Rough Sleepers, London, UK, designed by Amy Brazier.The interior of a standard issue UNHCR tent. Many families live in tents like these for years. Photo by Christopher Herring.'The Right 2 Dream Too' encampment in the heart of Downtown Portland, Oregon, USA serves as a safe space for the city's homeless in a city where camping and sleeping outdoors is largely illegal. Photo by Christopher Herring.Homeless men and women sleeping on mats or bunked beds lined on floors of schools, gyms, and churches as at the First United Church Mission in Vancouver, Canada. Photo by Christopher Herring.A woman and child walk on the paved road of Killis Camp in Turkey. Photo by Christopher Herring.La Casa Supportive Housing Project in Washington DC, USA (Left) seeks to change the pattern of homelessness through design with a central location and on-site services. Designed by Studio Twenty Seven Architecture and Leo A Daly for the Department of Human Services. Photo by Christopher Herring.A project of Micro Homes Solutions, New Delhi, India. Photo by Christopher Herring.A homeless camp in Portland, Oregon, USA. Photo by Christopher Herring.A sidewalk shelter for pavement dwellers in Chennai, India.Concrete spikes under a bridge in Guangzhou City, China. Photo by Christopher Herring.Cynthia proudly sits outside the makeshift home she has constructed on the sidewalk in Fresno, California, a US city with over 3,000 homeless people and less than 300 shelter beds. Photo by Christopher Herring.A Homeless Encampment situated in Fresno, California, USA. Encampments under highway overpasses are common in the US, not only for the structural protection from the elements, but because highway property is not part of city jurisdictions and can avoid the frequent evictions of police faced by those on other public property. Photo by Christopher Herring.A makeshift encampment of a group of homeless people in Fresno, California, USA. The residents bordered their encampment with a homeless memorial with cardboard gravestones with the names of those who passed away on the streets marked by artificial flowers – an expression of both the dignity and resilience of this community and sad reminder of the perils faced by those without shelter. Photo by Christopher Herring.A Homeless Encampment situated in Fresno, California, USA. As in many US cities, such encampments are criminalized in the downtown core, but concentrated and tolerated in the industrialized outskirts. Photo by Christopher Herring.Tents:  A temporary homeless encampment on the sidewalk bordering the campus of the Los Angeles City College in Los Angeles, U.S.A.  The City College is a community institution that provides a stepping stone to full-degree programs at other colleges and universities.  Inside the fence, 20,000 mainly low- and lower-income students pursue their dreams of a better life .  Outside the fence, the main preoccupation is to find a place to sleep.  Photograph by Benjamin Clavan, 2015.PATH Villas Osage Apartments is a 20-unit affordable housing development that consists of eight one-bedroom, six two-bedroom, and six three-bedroom units. To foster and enhance an uplifting community spirit between families and the PATH counselors the development features a central landscaped courtyard, a community room and a children’s play area that is observable from all units.PATH Villas Osage Apartments is a 20-unit affordable housing development that consists of eight one-bedroom, six two-bedroom, and six three-bedroom units. To foster and enhance an uplifting community spirit between families and the PATH counselors the development features a central landscaped courtyard, a community room and a children’s play area that is observable from all units.Woman with cart: A homeless woman in Los Angeles, U.S.A. arranges her meager belongings before looking for a place to sleep for the night.  Photograph by Benjamin Clavan, 2015.FLEEING EN MASSE: Migrants from Syria sleep along the walls of a 14th-century fortress in Kos, Greece. (WIN MCNAMEE/GETTY IMAGES/WALL STREET JOURNAL AUG. 2015 FRONT PAGE).'Home.' City center, Sao Paolo, Brazil, 2014. Photo by Benjamin Clavan.Even in Norway, with very visible government attention and programs, there are an estimated 6200 people with no place to live. Here, in the capital city of Oslo, at the steps of the Parliament Building on the busy avenue connecting the town center with the Royal Palace, a homeless woman tries to sleep and collect a few coins. (Photo by Benjamin Clavan, 2015)
Click on photograph for details.
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