The Nineth Annual Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectual Design Excellence 2007
Berkeley Prize 2007

Stage 2: Semifinalists

We are happy to announce that 25 contestants have advanced to the Semifinalist round (Stage Two) of the Berkeley Prize 2007 competition. Architecture students from 14 countries entered this year's competition, including Australia, Argentina, Iran, India, China, Nigeria, and others. Semifinalists are invited to submit a 2500-word essay based on their 500-word proposal by midnight, Universal Coordinated Time (Greenwich Mean Time), February 28. The top five to seven essays will be selected for final judging by the Berkeley Prize Jury.


Opeyemi Adewale, Federal University of Tech. Minna, Nigeria

Georgia Bowen, University of Sydney, Australia

Budoor Bukhari, American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Sarah Button, Carleton University, Canada

Justine Cheng, Cornell University, USA

Matthew Clarke, University of Kentucky, USA

Parisa Davachi and Soheil Karagah, Islamic Azad University, Iran

Audrey Davenport, Savannah College of Art and Design, USA

David Davies, University of Liverpool, UK

Matthew Hague, University of Waterloo, Canada

Miriam Ho, University of Waterloo, Canada

Ksenia Kagner, University of Waterloo, Canada

Eslam Khalil, Savannah College of Art and Design, USA

Talha Khwaja, Oklahoma State University, USA

Andrew King, Savannah College of Art and Design, USA

Debra Maxwell, Drachman Institute, USA

Kate Milligan, RMIT, Australia

Sara Navrady, University of Waterloo, Canada

Mina Rafiee, Tehran University, Iran

Lisamarie Rusate, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA

Hugh Snelgrove, Sydney University, Australia

Gabriela Sorda, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Deniz Tavli, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey

Manijeh Verghese, Wellesley College, USA

Andrew Young Gankuba, Makerere University, Uganda


We compliment all of the Semifinalists 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 Semifinalists to improve the crafting of their 2,500 word essays. As such, a few general suggestions seem appropriate. 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 than simply discussed, the PUBLIC must be persuaded that there is added value to constructing buildings much different than most of the architecture being built today. 

Remember: 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. 


Before you begin to write the 2,500 word essay, it is essential that you carefully consider the Reviewers' comments about your Proposal for the essay. These comments are meant to help you write a winning essay. Please review your reviewer comments in your Author Portfolio. 

You have almost 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 websites listed below to improve 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)

Finally, try out your ideas on others before sending your essay. 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.

Additional Help and Information

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