The Fifth Annual Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectual Design Excellence 2003
Berkeley Prize 2003

Stage 2: Semifinalists

We are happy to announce that 32 contestants out of 185 participants have advanced to the Semifinalist round (Stage Two) of the Berkeley Prize 2003 competition. This includes four two-person teams.

Architecture students from 31 countries entered this year’s competition, including: Algeria, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Nepal, the Philippines, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, UK, Uruguay, USA and Yugoslavia.

Semi-Finalists are invited to submit a 2500-word essay based on their 500-word proposal. The top five to seven essays will be selected for final judging by the Berkeley Prize Jury.

Abo-tera, Mohamad, Higher Technological Institute, Egypt

Berg, Jamie, University of Pennsylvania, USA

Bustamante, Luis, University of Miami, USA

Geraldez, Tracy, niversity of Texas at Austin, USA

Gullberg, Johanna, KTH - The Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

Isacson, Johan AND Susanne Almroth, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden

Kho, Clement AND Lau Yang Zheng Justin, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Lachhwani, Vikas AND Rashi Sharma, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India

Leggett, Gary, Princeton University, USA

Leu, Christine, University of Waterloo, Canada

Liggos, John, RWTH-Aachen, Greece

Martinez, Rafael, University of California, Berkeley, USA

Pundir, Shivani, Govt. College of Architecture, Lucknow, India

Reynolds, Jessica, University of Cambridge, UK

Skarf, Joshua, University of Michigan, USA

Soleymani, Faraz AND Mohammad Nahavandi, Architecture MA, Iran

Sparrow, Martha, University of Toronto, Canada

Swartz, Aron, Chalmers University of Technology, Goteborg, Sweden

Toledo, Eduardo, Universidade Federal de Vi, Brazil

Yeung, Kenneth AND Kenneth K Yeung Elwin J. Wong, UC Berkeley, USA

Ying San, Ooi, University Technology Malaysia, Malaysia


The essays are due at 12:00 Noon, Pacific Standard Time (20:00 hrs. Universal Time) on March 1, 2003 through the online submission system available on this page in mid February. 

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 Architecture as a Social Art. As an essay competition, the Berkeley Prize encourages the translation of these interests and concerns into a format for communication both to those within the profession and the wider public. 

The Berkeley Prize Committee encourages Semi-Finalists to improve the crafting of their 2,500 word essays. As such, a few suggestions seem appropriate. First, and foremost, remember that the essay is a literary form that presents a specific opinion through a convincing argument. Therefore, make sure you are addressing the Question: 

When architects strive to create lasting monuments, some become part of the significant cultural heritage of our age. These successes seem to embody the most socially important values of a city, region, country, or even the world. Other attempts are only the reflection of the vanity of the designer or client and pass into oblivion. Worse, they become a permanent blight on the environment. As an architect, specifically, how can your work simultaneously embody the social values of one place, a particular culture, and universal human concerns?

Remember: 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 architecture is to be built, rather then simply discussed, the PUBLIC must be persuaded that there is added value to building buildings much different then most of the architecture being built today. 

Remember that this is an essay competition and that you are presenting an argument about a certain question and you are attempting to convince the reader that this argument has merit. At the same time, you want your essay to be meaningful to the widest possible audience. This means selecting a voice that is both your own and one that is accessible to serious readers. Avoid jargon. Avoid assumptions about to the level of knowledge of your reader. Have fun. Essays by their very nature are somewhat formal, but the best are also a pleasure to read.

Do you agree or disagree with the question? It is helpful to begin your essay by stating your position on the question. Do this clearly and succinctly. 

You have six weeks to produce your essay in final form. Use at least four of these weeks creatively to improve your writing abilities in English. Read some good prose written in English. Novels, poetry and architectural writing are great teachers. 

Use the internet connections listed below to improve the your vocabulary and syntax. Check your spelling and vocabulary when in doubt.

William Strunk, Jr. The Elements of Style

Guide to Grammar and Writing (Capital Community College)

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 and if you can prevail on them, ask them to read your revised draft. 

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