|The Nineth Annual Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectual Design Excellence 2007|
(May 23, 2007) The University of California, Berkeley - The winner and first runner up of the Fourth Annual Berkeley Prize Travel Fellowship Competition are announced today by Professor Raymond Lifchez, Chair of the Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectural Design Excellence.
The 2007 Berkeley Prize Travel Fellowship is awarded to:
Budoor Bukhari, American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
"I am a Sudanese proudly pursuing my architectural education at the American University of Sharjah (AUS) in the United Arab Emirates. Prior to joining AUS, I had the privilege of studying architecture for three years at the University of Juba in Sudan. Although I was obliged to discontinue my studies there, the exposure to the difficulties associated with being a student of architecture in my native Sudan was far from unrewarding. It provided me with the chance of experiencing first hand the challenges developing countries have to confront within their built environments, and was instrumental in shaping my academic interests and pursuits. It allowed me to consciously pose the often asked but seldom answered question: what should the role of the Architect be in the Developing World? I passionately carried this and other questions to AUS, where I was inspired to conduct extra-curricular research towards my final thesis project. As part of the endeavor, I managed to make a trip with an NGO group this January to visit the marginalized communities living in and around the Dinder National Park in South Eastern Sudan. Removed from the comforts of everyday life, I encountered the problems the communities are facing, and began to formulate ideas of potential design solutions. The project is envisioned as an initial effort towards developing architecture that is socially responsible."
The 2007 Berkeley Prize Travel Fellowship Honorable Mention goes to:
Gabriela Sorda, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
"I grew up in a small apartment filled with books in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Maybe because my house was so small I started to imagine and draw comfortable houses as a child; and maybe because my house was filled of books, I discovered the story of Brasilia, the fabulous city were buildings were beautiful, and there were schools for every kid, and hospitals for every person. I was bred to believe in changing the world for better, and Brasilia materialized the utopia for me, so I started to draw city plans with schools every four blocks, hospitals every five blocks, factories every ten blocks. When I grew up, I realized things were not so easy but I still believe that architecture can improve people’s lives. My approach to architecture’s problems is related to that belief, though I now understand that urbanism is not just as a space problem but also an economical problem. Since 2004, I have worked with a research team that conducts field work in slums, and I work with a number of other volunteer and community programs that address social problems."
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