The Twelfth Annual Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectual Design Excellence 2010
Berkeley Prize 2010

The 2010 Essay Prize Competition

An essay contest in Three stages open to all current full-time registered students in an undergraduate architecture degree program, undergraduates majoring in architecture, or diploma students in accredited schools of architecture worldwide. 9,500USD Purse.


The Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Design Excellence endowment was established in the Department of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley to promote architecture as a social art through research, writing, and criticism: traditionally under-represented aspects of the architecture curriculum. Each year, the Prize Committee selects a topic important to the understanding of the interaction of people and the built world that becomes the focus of the Essay Competition. This year the topic is: Sustainable Architecture/ Traditional Wisdom.

The Committee poses a Question on this website related to the topic. Students enrolled in any undergraduate architecture program throughout the world are invited to submit a 500-word essay proposal responding to the Question. Undergraduate architecture students may team up with undergraduates from Allied Arts and Social Sciences programs.

From the pool of essay proposals received, approximately 25 are selected by the Prize Committee as particularly promising. The 25 selected individual students, or student teams, become Semifinalists.

These Semifinalists are invited to submit a 2,500-word essay expanding on their proposals. A group of readers, composed of Committee members and invited colleagues, selects five-to-eight of the best essays and sends these Finalist essays to a jury of international academics and architects to select the winners.

At the conclusion of the Essay Competition submittals, all Semifinalists are also invited to submit for one of two BERKELEY PRIZE Fellowships: the Travel Fellowship, or the Architectural Design Fellowship. Details for each will be announced in the Spring, 2010. Past Fellowship Competition requirements, winning submissions, and follow-up reports by the winners are available to read here on the website.

Architectural history, theory and practice are rich with ideas and actual buildings that exemplify the importance of architecture as a social art. In addressing the Question posed by the BERKELEY PRIZE 2010 Essay Competition, you will consider this legacy and its relevance to you as future architects.


The 2010 berkeley prize is dedicated to those in the historic preservaton/heritage conservation movement throughout the world, who through their daily efforts remind professionals, the public, and students, that what we designate as historic is just as important as what is newly built and that the two can and should co-exist.

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