The Annual International Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectural Design Excellence 2019
Berkeley Prize 2019

Thomas-Bernard Kenniff

2002 Essay Prize Winner - First Place

Country of Origin: Canada
Country of Study: Canada
Current Country: Canada

Degrees: Ph.D. in Architectural History and Theory (2013); Master of Architecture (2005); Bachelor of Environmental Studies in Architecture (2003)


The BERKELEY PRIZE defined a trajectory my career and the reflection it triggered still resonates with me after fifteen years. My participation in the PRIZE managed to crystallise the loose thinking of an undergraduate into a clear direction, into a way of acting, into a vocation. It connected this reflection with an international community of architects, scholars and students and, as a current member of the committee, I am reminded of this every year.

It is not a surprise that the ideas and the causes supported by the PRIZE have found themselves at the heart of my work since I graduated from architecture school. The architectural projects I have been involved in practice in North America and Europe have been understood through this lens, constantly evaluating the human aspects of design decisions and processes. My research work since 2004 has addressed preoccupations tied to the public realm, working out the ways in which subjectivities and relationships are transformed by the collective practice of making social space.

As a Professor at the School of Design, Université du Québec à Montréal, I am now involved in research projects that address the social and political aspects of architecture and design from the scale of the individual to the scale of the city. Significantly, my teaching also owes to this reflection, recognising that the social art of architecture and design is something that takes shape early on and within the bounds of the pedagogical project.

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