The Fifthteenth Annual Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectual Design Excellence 2013
Berkeley Prize 2013

Research on the Social Art of Architecture

The BERKELEY PRIZE is begining to assemble an online resource of research materials for use by faculty interested in teaching the social art of architecture..  The materials begin with pieces collected as part of the second Teaching Fellowship on the "The Architect and the Healthful Environment." and continue with references from the inaugural Teaching Fellowship on the "Architect and the Accessible City."  All are applicable to the process of instituting a thoughtful change in the way architecture is currently taught. 


We Have Designed Cities to Make People Ill

A report on remarks by Thomas Fisher, Dean of the College of Design, University of Minnesota, USA, at the 2014 American Institute of Achitects national convention held in Chicago, Illinois, USA.  This brief summary serves as a introduction to Fisher's work as one of the leading architectural ethicists in the United States.

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A House for Someone Unlike Me

A video produced by the National Center for a Barrier Free Society in 1984, funded by the Exxon Education Foundation, documenting the work of Professor Raymond Lifchez, Chair of the BERKELEY PRIZE Committee, towards creating a curriculum and teaching methodology that is particularly sensitive to the needs and challenges of the "other", in this case, the disabled. Applicable to any design project that places the social art of architecture at the forefront of concern, Professor Lifchez's work on this project is explored in depth in Rethinking Architecture: Design Students and Physically Disabled People (University of California Press, 1987). 

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Adaptive Environments - Strategies for Teaching Universal Design

A book-length text, edited by Polly Welch, published by Adaptive Environments Center (Boston, Massachusettes, USA) and MIG Communications (Berkeley, California, USA) in 1995.  The book, underwritten in part by the National Endowment fo the Arts, is an effort to bring Universal Design education teaching into the mainstream of design discourse, as well as the descriptive documentation of a pilot program to enable future critical analysis of the long-term outcomes. This book remains today the primary resource for teaching Universal Design.

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Mining our Natural Resources: The User as Expert

A summary article written by Elaine Ostroff, Hon. AIA, Coordinator of the PRIZE Teaching Fellowship program, that was first published in INNOVATION, the Quarterly Journal.of the Industrial Designers Society of America, in 1997.  Ostroff developed the term user/expert and has done significant work to establish the use of user/experts in the design studio.  This simple yet profound idea is that the people who know the most about any design requirement are the users - who, by definition, are therefore experts in defining and evaluating their own interactions with specific environments.

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Urban Design for All of Us - A New Pedagogy

A power-point presentation by 2013 Teaching Fellow, Josh Safdie (Massachusetts College of Art and Design; Institute for Human Centerd Design), titled "Urban Design For All of Us - A New Pedagogy: Teaching to Diversity from Boston to Moscow.  Prepared in part for Safdie's role as coordinator for the New Msscow Inclusive Design Competition held in Russia in March, 2014.

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How to Write Text Descriptions

An article, written for the Universal Design Education Project, a project of Adaptive Environments Center (Boston Massachusetts, USA), explains how to properly describe visual images to those who are visually impaired or without access to adequate bandwidth, the kind of specific problem needing to be addressed in dealing with those unlike our ourselves.

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Additional Help and Information

Are you in need of assistance? Please email info@berkeleyprize.org.
Like everyone else, this worker in Mexico needs transportation to his job. Public transport needs to be accessible for persons with mobility, sensory, and cognitive disabilities.Persons with disabilities around the world are promoting transport systems that provide mobility for everyone. Mexican disability advocates are shown meeting with local transit officials to promote accessible transport. AEI has published guides to assist planners and advocates of inclusive transportation.An accessible travel chain begins with safe streets and sidewalks. This street in Foshan, China, has separate rights-of-way for pedestrians, human-powered vehicles, and motor-powered vehicles.Disability advisors at Rio de Janeiro’s Independent Living Center monitored access features for this street crossing, part of the Rio City Project.Tactile guideways and tactile warning strips assist blind and sight-impaired pedestrians as well as others in Foshan, China.Tactile warnings alert this blind person crossing a mid-street island in San Francisco, USA.Busy intersections benefit from pedestrian controlled buttons and assist blind persons to cross through sound and vibration signalsTactile warnings protect blind persons – and all other passengers – from getting too close to the platform edge in transit stations.This footway adjacent to a road in Tanzania is protected by curb pieces which separate motor traffic from pedestrians and bicycles. Such basic safety measures are needed to prevent pedestrian injuries along roadways in many countries.Even better, pedestrian and non-motorized traffic can be kept safely removed from motorized traffic by accessible sidewalks separated from the roadway, in this case by a well-designed drainage system along a main road in Tanzania. Speed bumps are used to slow traffic at crosswalks.This pedestrian crosswalk provides level access to a bus island at an inter-modal transfer center in Mexico City.<br>Photo by T. Rickert, courtesy of DFID (UK) and TRL (UK).Ticket vending machines should be low enough for use by wheelchair users and all short persons, as illustrated by the good design of this machine at a BART station in the San Francisco Bay area, USA.Stairs are often retrofitted with stair lifts in transit terminals, as here in a Tokyo subway station. However, in new construction, elevators should be considered where possible.A wheelchair user takes the elevator from the platform level of the Shenzhen, China, railroad station.Wide doors are needed to accommodate wheelchair riders entering fare-paid areas of transit terminals, as in this subway station in Rio de Janeiro.Everyone can safely board this BART train, due to a minimal horizontal and vertical gap.However, care must be taken that horizontal gaps are not too wide. The orange “gap filler” pops up when the doors open in San Francisco’s Muni Metro, assuring a safe gap.Small portable ramps can provide inexpensive access in many rail stations, as shown here in Tokyo.All passengers, and especially deaf and hard-of-hearing passengers, benefit from well-located visual information, as with this route display on board a train to the Hong Kong airport.Advocates Anjlee Agarwal (left) and Sanjeev Sachdeva board the accessible Delhi Metro on its inaugural run.<br>Photo courtesy of Sanjay Sakaria and Samarthya, from Amar Ujjala Indian DailyExpress buses in Curitiba, Brazil, exemplify universal design. All passengers, including those with disabilities, quickly board with level entry. Similar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems operate in Quito, Ecuador; Bogota, Colombia, and a growing number of cities around the world.<br>Photo by Charles Wright, Inter-American Development Bank.Construction of this Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) trunk line corridor in Pereira, Colombia, symbolizes the rapid spread of BRT systems around the world. BRT systems lend themselves to universal design, but details must be monitored carefully to maximize accessibility.Although most BRT busways are on broad thoroughfares, this exclusive single-direction bus lane nearing completion in Pereira illustrates that BRT systems can sometimes be built on narrow streets.<br>This and above photo by T. Rickert courtesy of World BankThe photo shows an articulated bus docking at a Bus Rapid Transit station in León, Mexico.Pre-paid passengers inside a station board a high-capacity BRT bus in León.<br>This and above photo courtesy of Sistema Integrado de Transporte Masivo de LeónA prototype low-floor bus is tested in New Delhi adjacent to a platform the same height as the bus floor.A closeup of the same bus stop illustrates the advantages of fast boarding for all passengers from platforms that eliminate the need for climbing steps to board.<br>This and above photo courtesy of Gerhard Menckhoff of the World Bank.This prototype lift-equipped bus serves Mamelodi Township in South Africa. Note the excellent use of contrasting colors.<br>Photo by T. Rickert, courtesy of DFID (UK) and TRL (UK).Mexico City officials inaugurated service in 2001 with 50 new buses equipped with lifts and other access features.<br>Photo courtesy of Marìa Eugenia Antunez.In addition to a wheelchair lift, this bus in Mexico City has a retractable step beneath the front entrance.This low-floor bus in Warsaw, Poland, uses an inexpensive hinged ramp which provides easy boarding for passengers with disabilities.A low-floor bus in Hong Kong also exhibits excellent color contrast, using a bright yellow on key edges and surfaces.Transit systems around the world have reserved seating for seniors and passengers with disabilities, and often for pregnant women as well, as found on this TransMilenio bus in Bogotá, Colombia.Even when bus stops are not accessible to wheelchair users, access for seniors and others with disabilities can be enhanced by a level all-weather pad even in the absence of paved sidewalks. The photo is from a TransMilenio feeder route in Bogotá.<br>This and above photo by T. Rickert courtesy of World Bank.Thousands of Mexico City’s small inaccessible microbuses are being recycled and replaced with larger vehicles, often with better access features.One such feature is this priority seating located behind the driver where there is extra leg room and it is easier for blind passengers to hear the driver call out key stops.<br>Photo by T. Rickert, courtesy of DFID (UK) and TRL (UK).In other new buses in Mexico City, a wide rear door has low steps and is easily accessed by semi-ambulatory passengers from a raised sidewalk, but requires that drivers carefully pull in to the curb.<br>Photo by T. Rickert, courtesy of DFID (UK) and TRL (UK).Community initiatives are playing a growing role in providing accessible door-to-door transport in many countries. This accessible van in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, belongs to the six-vehicle fleet of Persatuan Mobiliti.<br>Photo courtesy of Persatuan MobilitiArtist’s conception of a three-wheeled door-to-door vehicle connecting with an accessible ramped platform with bridge at a bus stop at a key site.This prototype three-wheeled vehicle was built with AEI’s assistance by Kepha Motorbikes in Nairobi, Kenya.Detail showing entry via a ramp at the rear of the test vehicle.<br>This and above photo courtesy of Wycliffe Kepha.This accessible bicycle rickshaw in India has a rear door which serves as a ramp.<br>Photo courtesy of Bikash Bharati Welfare Society and Lalita Sen.A public meeting in Cali, Colombia, discusses accessibility to Bus Rapid Transit systems. Readers can go to the Bus Rapid Transit Accessibility Guidelines in our Resources section, under the links to the World Bank.<br>Photo by T. Rickert, courtesy of the World Bank.In this version, the bridge piece is mounted under the platform and put into place by the bus driver.<br>This and above photo courtesy of DFID (UK) and CSIR Transportek (South Africa).This test in South Africa of a prototype platform for use at key sites shows an alternative approach to access for wheelchair users.
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