The Fourteenth Annual Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectual Design Excellence 2012
Berkeley Prize 2012

Emma Survis Bio

"I grew up on a small farm in Lostine, Oregon, population 200. When I was 15 years old, I was lucky enough to be given opportunity to travel to Vienna and Graz, Austria for a month with a group of Rotary students. This trip was the beginning of my love of architecture. Historic architecture and the ways in which these beautifully preserved buildings have the ability to transport you back in time particularly impacted me.

From that point on, I had decided on the path of architecture and enrolled at the University of Arizona’s architecture school. My passion lies in the ability of architecture to change our perception of the world. Architecture defines our lives and an architect has profound influence on how people live their lives. Buildings have the ability to delight, to invoke thought, to inspire, to enhance belief, and bolster faith. It is a sacred act to build, to define the spaces in which people’s lives unfold, and one that I don’t believe should be taken lightly.

My time in Tucson has infused me with a deep regret for communities all over the country who are losing the hearts of their cities to unplanned destruction and development. While Tucson is one of the oldest cities in the United States it contains little in the way of historic architecture. I believe we can do so much better, by restoring and renovating the historic buildings in the city's core, and also concentrating on the beauty, function and relevance of new architecture.

I think architecture can be the catalyst that brings people together and ignite change in the world. Architecture is about growth, life, promise, and discovery. I hope to immerse myself in architecture and instill in others the delight, awe, and reverence I have felt when walking through a particularly compelling space. Architecture is literally the fabric of our lives, and I think it should constantly challenge us, our beliefs, and our perception.  I am fascinated by architecture because I believe in its potential."


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Emma Survis, University of Arizona, Tuscon, Arizona, USA
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