The Nineteenth Annual Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectural Design Excellence 2017
Berkeley Prize 2017

Vidhi Wadhawan and Sakshi Khare Bio

I was born in Jodhpur, a desert in western India to a family of military surgeons and have spent most of my childhood living in a place for not more than 3 years.The constant travel to towns big and small gave me exposure to the local architecture and social conditions of people in different states.My nomadic lifestyle as a child embedded in me the fascination with travelling and studying different societies and their lifestyles. Subsequently, communities and the buildings that represent them which was this year's essay question drew me to write about the Gas tragedy victims in Bhopal,where I am currently doing my second year of undergraduate course.Berkeley Essay Prize competition gave me the opportunity of visiting neighbourhoods forced into economic backwardness by the disaster,talk to the affected parties, and understand how each building catered to their constant struggle of moving on with their lives post the leak and the loss of their dear ones.

I'm a second-year student of architecture in Bhopal.I was raised in Kolkata, the British capital of India and have since learned to value diversity as integral to human development.The interrelationship between culture and molding of spaces is what I am trying to understand through the study of architecture.As a poetry enthusiast, architecture comes across to me as an expression of inner identity, an art form with a larger purpose.The built form, I believe has great potential to alter societies and psychology.

Vidhi Wadhawan

The Berkeley Essay Prize Competition has helped me identify new definitions of communities and the number of factors that hold people together.

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Ms. Sakshi Khare, School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal, Bhopal India
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