The Eighth Annual Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectual Design Excellence 2006
Berkeley Prize 2006

Stage 2: Semifinalists


We compliment all of the Semi-Finalists on the extraordinary diversity of ideas and approaches in response to this year's Question. Such responses indicate the depth of interest and concern for Children in the City.

In Stage Two, you are to expand upon your chosen topic in 2,500 words. The Berkeley Prize Committee encourages Semi-Finalists to improve the crafting of their ideas. A few suggestions seem appropriate:

  • Before you begin to write the 2,500 word essay it is essential that you carefully consider the Reviewers' comments about your proposal for the essay. These comments are meant to help you write a winning essay. Please read your reviewer comments in your Author Portfolio.
  • In answering this year's Question, the Berkeley Prize Committee is particularly interested in responses that speak to the general public. If social architecture is to become the norm, rather then the exception, the PUBLIC must be persuaded of the value of design that reflects human worth. If social ideas are to be realized, rather then simply discussed, the PUBLIC must be persuaded that there is added value to initiating your idea as opposed to doing nothing. This means selecting a voice that is both your own, and one that is accessible to both serious readers and those who read only the "lead" points.
  • Avoid the use of professional language unfamiliar to many of your "intended" readers, except where absolutely necessary. Avoid jargon.
  • Ask a friend to read your essay before submitting it. Better yet, show it to two friends: one, a fellow architecture student; the second, a person not familiar with the discipline or profession. Use their input to revise your draft. If you can prevail on them, ask them to read your revised draft.
  • Finally: Have fun. Essays by their very nature are somewhat formal, but the best are also a delight to read because they reflect the excitement, commitment, and pleasure of the writer. Good luck.

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