The Annual International Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectural Design Excellence
Berkeley Prize 2024

2017 Competition Results


Berkeley, California, U.S.A.
19, April 2017


Benjamin Clavan, Architect, AIA










Winners of the nineteenth annual international BERKELEY PRIZE Competition for 2017 are announced today by Professor Raymond Lifchez, Chair of the BERKELEY UNDERGRADUATE PRIZE FOR ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN EXCELLENCE (

Through two distinct competitions - the Essay Competition; and the Travel Fellowship Competition - the international BERKELEY PRIZE competition encourages undergraduate architecture students worldwide to go into their communities for the purpose of thinking and writing about issues central to the understanding of the social art of architecture

The 2017 BERKELEY PRIZE focuses on the topic: “ARCHITECTURE REVEALS COMMUNITIES”  125 undergraduate architecture students from 30 countries are participants in responding to this year’s Question:


In your city, how do individual communities demonstrate their presence through the buildings designed to serve that group’s social and cultural needs and endeavors?



The 2017 BERKELEY PRIZE recipients are:


Essay Competition

($25,000 Total Purse)

First Place Prize

Mr. Jan Doroteo, University of Toronto John D. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, Toronto, Canada: “The Little Pinoy Sari-Sari Store: Of Otherness and Belonging in a Global Diaspora” (7500USD)

Second Place Prize

Mr. Hadi OsniNational University of Singapore School of Design & Environment, Singapore: The Baweanese Pondok: Pondok Tampilung(6500USD)

Third Place Prize

Ms. Bella Biwer, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Architecture & Urban Planning, Milwaukee, U.S.A.: The Architecture of Place: Amaranth Bakery and Café(5500USD)

Fourth Place Prize

Mr. Layton Checketts, University of Utah College of Architecture + Planning, Salt Lake City, U.S.A. “Stories of Community: The Provo Tabernacle” (4500USD)

Honorable Mention

Ms. Sakshi Khare and Ms. Vidhi Wadhawan, School of Architecture and Planning, Bhopal, India. “Expressions of Aspirations: United by a Night (500USD)

Honorable Mention

Mr. Muhammad Satya Irfanando and Ms. Lia Sparingga Purnamasari, Universitas Sebelas Maret Department of Architecture, Surakarta, Indonesia: Repurpose to Survive: a Lesson from Surakarta" (500USD)


All of the winning essays, plus the next 10 top-scoring essays are now available to be read on the website on the BERKELEY PRIZE “Reserve” page, see


Utilizing the work of 64 Reviewers from around the world (see “Background” below), this year's four Essay Jurors are: 


SANGEETA BAGGA-MEHTA is a Professor at the Chandigarh College of Architecture, Chandigarh, India where she teaches Urban Design, Theory of Design, and Architectural Design Studios.  As part of these responsibilities, Dr. Bagga-Mehta has conducted multiple collaborative student workshops centered on the examination of urban landscapes, environmental design and social issues within Chandigarh.  She was co-curator of the Urban Edge Exhibition on the urban villages within and around Chandigarh in September 2015, an outgrowth of her participation as an invited international Jury Member and panelist for the Urban Edge Prize seminar, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA in the spring of 2015.  Professor Mehta is also working on a guide to Chandigarh which seeks to reveal Chandigarh through different ways of seeing. The working title of the book is, Chandigarh: A Different Kaleidoscope.  Sangeeta Bagga-Mehta is a long-time BERKELEY PRIZE Committee member.


MARK GILLEM teaches architecture and urban design through a joint appointment in the Departments of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of Oregon.  Professor Gillem is the director of the PhD Program, the University of Oregon’s Urban Design Lab, and the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments (IASTE).  Dr. Gillem’s teaching and research focus is on sustainable urbanism, which is an ecological approach to building that integrates architectural and landscape design with socio-cultural and environmental needs.  He is the author of America Town: Building the Outposts of Empire (2007), which received the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA)/Places Journal/Metropolis Magazine Book Award in 2008. He is also the author or co-author of dozens of articles and book chapters on sustainable urban design.


OMAR KHATTAB is currently the Dean for the College of Architecture and the Chairman of the Department of Architecture at Kuwait University.  Dr. Khattab is also a practitioner whose main interest is design.  He has designed and built projects in Egypt, England and Kuwait.  Dr. Khattab won a number of local and regional competitions and was responsible for major design projects including the Care Centre for Mentally Retarded and the Kuwait Autism Centre in Kuwait.  He is a co-author of two internationally published books, Cities in Transition: Transforming the Global Built Environment (2005) and Methodologies in Housing Research (2005).  Dr. Khattab is the Kuwait elected representative on the managing board of Royal Institute of British Architecture (RIBA) Gulf Chapter. 


FAIQ MARI is an architect working in the field of architectural design, research, and education with a focus on architecture’s potential as a tool of social and political investigation and action. He is currently a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he is continuing his graduate studies in architectural history and theory. Faiq won Second Place in the BERKELEY PRIZE Essay Competition in 2013.  Later that year, he was awarded a 2013-2014 BERKELEY PRIZE Associate Teaching Fellowship in recognition of and to assist in his work at Birzeit University.  He is a BERKELEY PRIZE Committee Member.

 (Click here for full profiles of the Jurors


Travel Fellowship Competition

(All of the students receive a $3700 cash stipend sufficient to cover round-trip airfare, daily expenses, and program costs for their specific travel plans.) 

This year’s winners are:

Mr. Ali Abidi from the University of Carthage National School of Architecture and Urbanism, Sidi Bou-Said, Tunisia to travel to Abetenim, Ghana to attend the “Earth Architecture International Workshop, the purpose of which is to build InsideOut, a prototype of a sustainable school in participation with the local community, sponsored by Nka Foundation + Build to Make A Change.

Mr. Richard Migisha from the Uganda Martyrs University Faculty of the Built Environment, Nkozi, Uganda to travel to Gando and Laonga in Burkina Faso for the purpose of a self-guided tour of the works of  sustainable architect Diébédo Francia Kéré; and also to travel to travel to Abetenim, Ghana to attend the “Earth Architecture International Workshop.” (See Ali Abidi above, who will also be attending, and the links.)

Ms. Aarushi Sharma from the School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal, India to travel to Arusha, Tanzania for the purposes of volunteering to help design school and hostel blocks, and a cultural center sponsored by the Esupat Centre for Cultural Diversity; and also to travel to Porto, Portugal to participate in the Summer School Programme: Practice and Theory of Sustainable and Social Architecture sponsored by “Critical Concrete,” for the purposes of hands-on demolition/refurbishing/rebuilding of a typical Ilhas house.


Mr. Aman Sinha from the School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal, India to travel to Phoenix, U.S.A. to attend a five-week Arcosanti hands-on construction workshop and to study the principal of Arcology.


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The Travel Fellowship requires a written and illustrated report. These will appear on the website with the launch of the next BERKELEY PRIZE competition cycle. 


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Watch for the announcement of the 20th Anniversary,


September 15, 2017





The BERKELEY PRIZE - How it Works


Each year, the BERKELEY PRIZE Committee poses a Question on the competition website.  Students enrolled in any undergraduate architecture program throughout the world or those in collateral disciplines teamed with such students are invited to submit a 500-word essay proposal in English responding to the Question. 

From this pool of essays, approximately 25-30 semifinalists are selected as particularly promising by the PRIZE Committee, a group of 64 international architects, architectural educators, social scientists, writers, and general thinkers.  The semifinalists are then asked to submit a 2,500-word Essay expanding on their proposals. 

The Committee then selects 8-9 of the best Essays and sends these finalists on to a jury of international architects and academics to select the winners.  The BERKELEY PRIZE Essay Competition is announced, papers submitted, and reader- and jury-reviewed all online. 

The Essay semifinalists are also offered the opportunity to participate in the BERKELEY PRIZE Travel Fellowship Competition.  For the Travel Fellowship, students are asked to submit a proposal of how a given architectural travel opportunity will help them capitalize on the research they did for their Essay and further their long-term academic and professional pursuits.

During the past nineteen years, 2094 students have submitted essays and proposals, representing dozens of schools of architecture from 69 countries.  In recognition of these efforts, the BERKELEY PRIZE is the recipient of the 2008 American Institute of Architects Collaborative Achievement Honor Award; and the 2002 American Institute of Architects' Education Honor Award. 

The BERKELEY PRIZE has also garnered international acclaim, not the least reason for which is its complete embracing of digital technology.  In partial recognition of this outreach, the 2003 BERKELEY PRIZE competition was named a special event of "World Heritage in the Digital Age," a virtual congress helping to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention.





Winners' biographies, photographs, and their full submittals; archives of past competitions; and links to other articles on the social art of architecture are posted at: 


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