The Twelfth Annual Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectual Design Excellence 2010
Berkeley Prize 2010

Winning Proposals

(April 26, 2010) The University of California, Berkeley - The winners of the Seventh Annual BERKELEY PRIZE Travel Fellowship Competition are announced today by Professor Raymond Lifchez, Chair of the Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectural Design Excellence. This is a special opportunity for the students to explore a part of the world and/or participate in an organized project that will assist them in gaining a deeper understanding of the social art of architecture. This year the BERKELEY PRIZE Committee has awarded four Travel Fellowships.

The winners are:

Ms. Jessica Clark, University of California, Berkeley, USA, for travel to the Permaculture Institute’s Design and Sustainable Communities Program, New Mexico, USA.

Ms. Marina Sapunova, Vladimir State University, Russia, for travel to the Arcosanti Project, Arizona, USA.

Ms. Holly Simon, Dalhousie University, Canada, for travel to the 2010 European Capital of Culture Program, Pecs, Hungary.

Mr. Michael Swords, Dublin School of Architecture, Ireland; for travel to the Summer Seminar of Medieval Architecture and Archaeology, Udine, Italy.

An introduction to the winners and links to the proposals are found below.


Ms. Jessica Clark, University of California, Berkeley, USA, for travel to the Permaculture Institute’s Design and Sustainable Communities Program, New Mexico, USA.  

 Read Travel Fellowship Proposal »

"Growing up in southern California, I spent much of my childhood outdoors. While some of my fondest memories were spent at the beach, I was also fortunate enough to visit museums such as the Getty Center where I developed an appreciation for art and architecture. When I started school at UC Berkeley, I was set on indulging my love of the outdoors by studying environmental science and resource conservation.

After enrolling in an environmental design course, I realized that architecture and our built environment play a major role in the way we use natural resources. I found architecture to be a way to incorporate my environmental and artistic interests into a profession that has tangible results on people’s lives.

Living in the San Francisco bay area has illuminated the challenges we face as architects. I have been simultaneously disheartened by the socioeconomic disparity of the area, and inspired by the grassroots environmental and social causes that have brought together diverse people. I believe environmental issues are inextricably linked to social issues. I am interested in addressing both these problems by studying energy efficiency in buildings, as well as past and indigenous forms of natural building techniques. Natural and energy efficient buildings can decrease construction time and costs, as well as operational expenses. I am fascinated by the astronomical social and environmental impact our current building materials have on the earth, often somewhere far enough away for us to ignore the consequences. After graduation, I would like to continue studying more energy efficient and socially conscious forms of architecture."


Ms. Marina Sapunova, Vladimir State University, Russia, for travel to the Arcosanti Project, Arizona, USA.

Read Travel Fellowship Proposal »

"I was born in the European part of Russia and am living there now. But my mother is from the Southern Russia, so I have got a lot of relatives there and, since my childhood, I have been traveling a lot over the country. I can’t definitely answer where my hometown is; I believe it only exists in my mind, like a certain mix of architectural and emotional memories. 

By the time I graduated from school I had to decide what my future studies would be linked to. I don’t remember been particularly interested in building simple structures in my childhood, but all along there was something luring in the sound of “architecture” for me, something unbounded and beautiful.

In the years since, my choice has proven exactly right. I admire both the depth of architectural study and its vast interconnection with lots of different sciences. It permanently surrounds us, it changes with us, and sometimes it even changes us. But what is interesting here, where the very interaction between architecture and the man begins, and how does this two-way influence realize.

In a year I will graduate from the University and I suppose that my researches in architecture are just beginning. Most of all I like changes and I was happy to find such a vivid processes in architecture."


Ms. Holly Simon, Dalhousie University, Canada, for travel to the 2010 European Capital of Culture Program, Pecs, Hungary.

Read Travel Fellowship Proposal »

"I spent my early years in the small town of Summerside on picturesque Prince Edward Island in Eastern Canada. From a young age, I loved drawing buildings, especially perspectives and plans. I dreamt up extravagant houses from our modest little bungalow and re-imagined public buildings (my school, the post-office, etc.) converted into houses. 

In high school my love of architecture was dampened somewhat by a “Design Studies” class that turned out to be computer-aided drafting lacking much in the way of “design”.  I began to assume that architecture was mostly technical and lacked imagination. My interest in drawing was still very strong so I choose to pursue a degree in Visual Arts at the Alberta College of Art & Design – a fulfilling and challenging experience. In my third year I was fortunate to complete an exchange in Valencia, Spain. I learned Spanish and enjoyed the beautiful architecture, food and culture. 

After graduating college, my love of architecture manifested itself in arts space development work and travels abroad exploring Europe and South America. In 2007, a ten-month community leadership course, Leadership Calgary, opened my eyes to issues of human and social development. These experiences fused my interests in architecture, art and the human condition. 

Last year, I returned to school and to Eastern Canada to pursue a life-long dream. My early passion for drawing and design has mixed with a growing interest in humanitarian issues. Architecture school has been very rewarding as I learn about (not only) history, technology and design but of the critical social context within which all architecture is created. 

I am tremendously grateful to my family whom has encouraged me throughout all my endeavors."


Mr. Michael Swords, Dublin School of Architecture, Ireland; for travel to the Summer Seminar of Medieval Architecture and Archaeology, Udine, Italy.

Read Travel Fellowship Proposal »

"I decided to become an architect at quite a young age. Growing up in London, much of my youth was spent visiting the many historic buildings and spaces within the city. From an early age, I developed a love for history and a passion for heritage. Now in my fourth year of architectural studies, my inspirations and thoughts have matured, although heritage and contextualism are still central to my interests.

Dublin city is an amazing place to study architecture. The rich fabric of juxtaposing styles means that when rambling through the streets to college, great lessons about urban design and social interaction can be observed. Studying this dense but ordered urban fabric, in which brick is ubiquitous, has led me to be particularly interested in a ‘cosmetic’ type of architecture, filling in and patching up where necessary, as well as making me appreciate the simplistic beauty and inherent genius of brick masonry Architecture. The course in Dublin school of Architecture is structured in such a way that I approach projects in an analytical and contextually responsive way, designing buildings that respond to the needs of the community and sit well with adjacent buildings.

I have two years of undergraduate study remaining in Dublin before I am qualified. I am currently considering taking a Masters in History of architecture after completion of my course, with the intention of pursuing a career in architectural conservation. I also wish to pursue my interest in Architecture as a social art, and fully understand the influence that beautiful buildings and spaces have on people’s lives." 


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