25th Anniversary!

Architecture Designed For Aging

This year’s question:

"What are the major issues and the best design responses in your local community for the special needs of your senior citizens?"

To Enter Overview of the Berkeley Prize


In honor of the first Berkeley Prize (1998-99), The Architect Meets the Nursing Home, this year’s Prize explores the architect’s changing and growing role in assisting senior citizens to continue to lead their lives as independently as they wish, safely and in dignity, through enhanced programming and design.

View YouTube talks by Matthias Hollwich, an international architect who has a focus on aging:

Question To Past Winners: How do you think the Prize has influenced your professional life as an architect or in any other profession or career pursuit?

Benard Acellam, Assistant Architect at DE-ZYN FORUM LTD; Assistant Lecturer in Architecture at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda; BP Essay Prize Winner, 2015.

“Working in a developing country context such as Uganda provides a myriad of problems, but also opportunities to tailor-make architectural solutions that show that people and the environment matter. My professional life as an architect is about tackling these challenges and opportunities through each project I undertake.”


To Address This Year’s Question
(Dissertation with extensive project descriptions) (list of multiple articles) (list of multiple articles)

Question To Past Winners: How do you think the Prize has influenced your professional life as an architect or in any other profession or career pursuit?

Philipp Goertz, Graduate Student at RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany; BP Travel Fellow, 2018

“During my time working on the essay and my visit to Japan, I felt that in architecture there is the possibility to genuinely engage with people and create a world in which people matter. This attitude carries on in my architectural works.”

Each year the Berkeley Prize Committee invites a distinguished professor or scholar in the field of architecture or the related social sciences to write about some aspect of the year's Berkeley Prize topic.

  • They are meant to help focus students' thoughts on the issues surrounding the year's Question.
  • They are a model for excellence in writing.
  • They exhibit both how defined and how broad the range of possible response to a Question.
Learn more

The social art of architecture encompasses a large field of inquiry that links design studies to people studies. In an ever-growing corpus of published work, researchers from a variety of disciplines work with architects to investigate how to make architecture better for all people. The various topics of the history of the BERKELEY PRIZE give a glimpse into the range of these studies. Each year, the PRIZE publishes “resources” to help participants further understand the specific topics. Included in The LIbrary is a selection of these resources as well as other articles and links that detail why architecture is and must be, first and foremost, about people.

Learn more

Committee Members

In honor of the 25th Anniversary, the Berkeley Prize Committee who normally select the semifinalists and finalists will also act as this year’s Jury. These professionals and scholars from around the world represent some of the leading figures in their representative disciplines. They are all dedicated to pushing the field of architecture to do much more to integrate social issues and a social perspective into the design process.

Question To Past Winners: How do you think the Prize has influenced your professional life as an architect or in any other profession or career pursuit?

Ghina Kanawati, Architect and Researcher at CatalyticAction, Beirut, Lebanon; BP Essay Winner, 2018

“These experiences led me to my current work position as an architect and researcher at CatalyticAction, a charity that empowers vulnerable children and their communities through participatory built interventions in public spaces across Lebanon… The most rewarding feeling is when a child feels heard and happy to see a project to which they contributed become a reality.”

Past Winners

From the BP2022 1st Place Essay Prize Winner:

Ayesha de Sousa studying in the Bachelor of Architecture program at the Goa College of Architecture, Goa, India; and Andrew de Sousa studying in the Bachelor of Arts program in Economics at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, India for: “Backwater Rising”.

Read Winning Essay

From the BP2022 Community Service Fellowships:

Hadiya Javed, studying in the Bachelor of Architecture program in the Architecture and Planning Department at NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi, Pakistan; and Swaleha Javed, studying for a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in the Institute of Professional Psychology at Bahria University, Karachi, Pakistan to volunteer with ModulusTech, the first team in Pakistan to devise a sustainable yet affordably flat-packed housing solution designed to provide adequate living conditions for potential users - the bottom 40% of the population in urban cities like Karachi.

Read Report From Winner

Question To Past Winners: How do you think the Prize has influenced your professional life as an architect or in any other profession or career pursuit?

Hadas Rix, Project Manager, Capital Projects, the University of Bristol, Bath, UK; BP Travel Fellow, 2005

“I founded a conservation consultancy in 2010 and was privileged to promote cultural heritage and design the restoration of significant buildings as a conservation architect. The Berkely prize provided me with the confidence to write about architecture, and I have prepared over fifty reports and heritage statements on listed buildings and heritage sites.“ Travel Fellow, 2005

About The Prize

Raymond Lifchez

The international Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectural Design Excellence (BERKELEY PRIZE) was founded and continues to be led by Raymond Lifchez, Emeritus Professor of Architecture and City & Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley College of Environmental Design (CED), through the result of a generous gift to the CED's Department of Architecture by the late Judith Lee Stronach.

So far, 3599 students have participated from 85 countries. The Berkeley Prize has awarded 175 prizes to 212 individuals (some as part of 2-member teams) across all categories: The Essay Competition, and the Travel, Community Service, and Architectural Design Fellowships.

The Endowment History of the Berkeley Prize
Student Participants
Awards Granted
Individual Winners

Berkeley Prize Through The Years

Berkeley Prize News & Calendar

Conversations on Social Justice and Design

The College of Environmental Design and the Department of Architecture hosted a day-long symposium in April 2022 titled Conversations on Social Justice and Design, to honor Professor Emeritus Raymond Lifchez, Founder and Chair of the BERKELEY PRIZE. The symposium featured a spectacular list of speakers who have been instrumental leaders in shaping contemporary practices addressing social justice, particularly in universal design.

Speakers included Darren Walker, Maddy Burke-Vigeland, Jeffrey Mansfield, Elaine Ostroff, Valerie Fletcher, Victor Pineda, and Susan Schwelk with a keynote talk by Christopher Downey, our inaugural Lifchez Professor of Practice in Social Justice.


Launch of 2023 Essay Competition.
(Stage One) 500-word essay proposal due.
Essay Semifinalists announced.
(Stage Two) Essay Semifinalists' 2,500-word essays due.
Launch of Travel Fellowship Competition for Essay Semifinalists.
Semifinalist’s Travel Fellowship Entries Due
Essay winners and Travel fellows announced.


Berkeley Prize 2023 winners are announced! See details about the Essay Prize Winners and the Travel Fellows. Thanks to all who participated!

Food for thought: STIR rounds up five architectural projects that displayed commitment towards community upliftment and helped reinvent a social identity.

Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2022 puts the spotlight on community and culture. Read or listen to the report here.


More news

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