The Sixth Annual Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectual Design Excellence 2004
Berkeley Prize 2004

Winning Essays

Winners of the Sixth Annual Berkeley Prize Essay Competition and the First Annual Berkeley Prize Travel Fellowship are announced today by Professor Raymond Lifchez, Chair of the Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectural Design Excellence. 

Prizes for outstanding essays submitted to the 2004 Essay Competition are awarded to: 

First Prize

Angela Nyka, Iowa State University, USA: "At Home in the City"
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Second Prize

Barak Levy, The Technion, Israel: "The Right Path"
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Third Prize

John Rea, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, USA: "Let's have dinner"
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Honorable Mentions

Dylan Sauer, University of Cincinnati, USA: "(Dis-, Mis-, Re-) Placement in the Urban Realm"
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Sandra Thomson, Dalhousie University, Canada: "Productive Lives: Eradicating the Barriers"
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The 2004 Prize Competition attracted 97 entries from students representing 28 countries and 43 undergraduate architecture programs on 6 continents. There were 12 team entries, representing the further importance of collaborative effort in addressing a serious, difficult question about the role of the architect in society. 

The students responded to the question: 

Go about your city and investigate for yourself the situation of the displaced and those who assist them. Based on what you find, what are your recommendations for bettering the situations of those displaced persons that you believe could be helped? Write about your discoveries in the form of a persuasive article for an influential community newspaper.

This year's Berkeley Prize Jury included Marco Casagrande, architect and environmental artist, Finland; Beth Gali, urban planner and landscape architect, Spain; Peter Prangnell, architect, author, and critic, Canada; and Minja Yang, Officer, Culture Sector, UNESCO, France. The jury chose the winning essays from a group of Finalists selected earlier by the Prize Committee. 

"On behalf of the Berkeley Prize Committee and Jury I wish to thank the students and the schools for their participation and encouragement," states Professor Lifchez, who notes: 

In selecting this year's Berkeley Prize topic - those without shelter, the Committee was acutely aware that the subject matter raised a host of issues. Even among academics and professionals there is no consensus as to how to discuss, let alone address, the design issues raised by the problems of the displaced and disenfranchised. This should not and cannot prevent such a discussion from occurring. It is at the heart of exploring the social art of architecture.

The new Berkeley Prize Travel Fellowship recognizes the vital role that exposure to other cultures and environments plays in helping to demonstrate importance of the social art of architecture. Finalists in the Essay Competition were asked for open-ended proposals that would demonstrate how the opportunity to visit Barcelona would help them expand their research and understanding of the issues they explored in their essays. 

The Berkeley Prize honors its continued association with UNESCO's World Heritage Center by enabling the 2004 Travel Fellowship winner to visit Barcelona for two weeks and attend Forum Barcelona 2004, a six month-long, city-wide, international cultural event partially sponsored by UNESCO. 

The Travel Fellowship will also enable the student to take part in another international conference in Barcelona this summer, Arquitectura 3000: the Architecture of Indifference, sponsored by Escola Técnica Superior d´Arquitectura de Barcelona at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. 

The Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectural Design Excellence is an endowment established in 1996 in the Department of Architecture, College of Environmental Design, at the University of California, Berkeley. Through essay writing, design competitions, and now the travel fellowship, the Berkeley Prize endowment aspires to encourage students to embrace social ideals as fundamental to making buildings of worth.

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