The Annual International Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectural Design Excellence 2019
Berkeley Prize 2019

Berkeley Prize News Archive


March 06, 2019

We are delighted to announce that 8 essays have advanced to the final stage the BERKELEY PRIZE competition.  The jury will now conisder the essays and winners will be determined by mid-April.  Thanks to all who competed.  This was an outstanding year.    

February 14, 2019

REMINDER: March 1 deadline!  What do you know about the United Nations SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and the NUA (New Urban Agenda)? Participate in Columbia University’s Center of Sustainable Urban Development survey which asks the question, “How are the SDGs traveling in your world?”  Led by Anna Rubbo,who created the Global Studio attended by several  BERKELEY PRIZE Travel Fellows, the survey is the first stage of an action-oriented project to accelerate awareness and implementation of the SDGs. Results will be shared with respondents. Link to the Survey here.



December 19, 2018

WHAT DOES RESILIENCE HAVE TO DO WITH ARCHITECTURE?  That is the title of a new Metropolis article in which the authors argue that, “We know that we can’t design for every unpredictable event, but we can make sure our buildings and cities are better able to weather these disruptions.”  They suggest that we study the resilience of natural systems to provide answers as to how to do that.  Read why here.

December 13, 2018

BERKELEY PRIZE 2019 Semifinalists announced!  See the list of the 30 individuals and teams who have advanced here.

December 04, 2018

Check out Archdaily's 6 Architectural Responses to Climate Change in 2018:

October 20, 2018

Learn about Flexcover, an exciting research project on auto-reactive building façades conducted by BERKELEY PRIZE Committee member Aboubacar Komara. 

September 14, 2018


September 14, 2018

The 2018 Travel Fellowship reports are now posted:  Read about the fellows' exciting journeys here!

September 14, 2018

Please join us in welcoming Neelakshi Joshi to the BERKELEY PRIZE Committee!  Joshi is an architect and urban planner with a keen interest in the social dimension of sustainable development. She is currently a doctoral candidate at the Dresden Leibniz Graduate School, Germany. Her current work focuses on the risks of rapid unplanned urbanization in the Himalayas, where she has worked extensively.  Joshi was the winner of the 2009 BERKELEY PRIZE Architectural Design Fellowship and 2018 BERKELEY PRIZE Jury.  Read about her fascinating work on the BERKELEY PRIZE Committee Page.

June 10, 2018

We are delighted to welcome the newest member of the BERKELEY PRIZE Committee, Aboubacar Komara.  Aboubacar Komara is a 2018 U.C. Berkeley College of Environmental Design BA Architecture graduate and one of four, university-wide, 2018 Judith Lee Stronach Baccalaureate Prize winners.  Aboubacar is taking on new challenges related to housing provision in his birthplace and home, Guinea, West Africa.  Read more about his important work on the BERKELEY PRIZE Committee Page.

June 08, 2018

Recent floods in the United States have created renewed concern about the lack of resilience in residential design and building in the country.  This also has world-wide implications.  Read: "North American houses turn to mush in a flood.  What can we do about it?" By Lloyd Alter.

May 29, 2018

Read a recent and highly relevant article on the social art of architecture in practice: In the Dead Spaces Between Buildings, An Architectural Revolution.

April 19, 2018


Please join us in congratulating the 5 Essay Prize Winners (one, a two-person team), and 6 Travel Fellows!! This has been a superb cycle.  These students emerged from an outstanding field.  We are deeply heartened to see the depth of thought the new generation is putting into the social dimension of architecture.  Thanks to all who participated!!

Please find a full press release here.  

March 09, 2018

We are delighted to announce that 9 excellent essays have advanced to the final stage.  The jury's selection will be announced in April.  Thank you to all who participated.   

January 14, 2018

Ray Lifchez, Founder and Chair of the BERKELEY PRIZE has been named a recipient of the Ed Roberts Award from the renowned Center for Independent Living as a “Pioneer in Universal Design.”  Read about the honor here, in the article from the Daily Californian here, and find more information about the CIL here.

January 08, 2018

See the recent DESIGN OBSERVER article on “Architecture for the People: Bryan C. Lee is Taking Trust Back into Public Spaces” for an example in the United States of another aspect of the social art of architecture.



December 13, 2017

BERKELEY PRIZE 2018 Semifinalists announced!  See more about them here.

September 14, 2017

Learn about what BERKELEY PRIZE winners do after college!  Check out Student Winners: Their Professional Lives.


September 14, 2017

2017 Travel Fellowship reports are up!  Read about the Fellows’ incredible adventures here.

September 14, 2017

Happy 20th anniversary to US!  Read about our two decades on the updated BERKELEY PRIZE history page.

April 19, 2017

The Committee is delighted to announce the winners of the 2017 BERKELEY PRIZE Essay Competition.
See more about them and read the winning essays here.

April 19, 2017

2017 BERKELEY PRIZE Travel Fellows have been selected!
Read their proposals here.

April 19, 2017

Congratulations to BERKELEY PRIZE Committee member Christopher Ategeka, who has been selected as a 2017 TED Fellow!
Read about the program here.

April 19, 2017

PRIZE Friend Christie Johnson Coffin, along with her co-author Jenny Young (both U.C. Berkeley College of Environmental Design graduates) have just published a landmark book on the social art of architecture: Making Places for People: 12 Questions Every Designer Should Ask.
See details here, and read an article about the book here.

March 06, 2017

9 excellent essays have advanced from the very competitive field to the final stage of judging. Congratulations to the finalists, and thank you to all who participated! Names to be released at the conclusion of juror deliberation.
See the essay titles here. 

February 08, 2017

The Travel Fellowship opportunity is now open to all 2017 Semifinalists! Please see details here, and read the instructions in the "To Enter" section carefully.



December 19, 2016

We are delighted to announce that the BERKELEY PRIZE Committee has advanced 26 Semifinalists.  The field was particularly competitive this year.  We thank all who participated!  Congratulations to the Semifinalists!  You can see more about them here.

November 28, 2016

In Memoriam, Angela Nkya. It is with great regret that we announce the untimely death of our colleague, Architect Angela Nyka on November 12, 2016.  Angela has been a PRIZE Committee Member since 2005, and was the First Prize winner in the BERKELEY PRIZE 2004 Essay competition with her Essay, “At Home in the City.”  She worked for architectural firms in California (U.S.A.) and Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania helping to promote the ideals of the social art of architecture.  We extend our heartfelt condolences to her family and friends.

September 13, 2016

Please welcome the newest members to the BERKELEY PRIZE Committee: Padma Maitland, Benard Acellam, Aleksis Bertoni. Read about them, and the rest of the Committee here.


September 13, 2016

The Environmental Design Archives at the University of California, Berkeley has posted a website of a public exhibition that was mounted earlier this year titled, Teaching Design With People in Mind: Social Factors at the College of Environmental Design. The exhibit documents the special place that Berkeley’s CED holds in the history of the on-going shift of architecture and architectural education from purely object-based design to "architecture for people." This commitment includes initiatives like the BERKELEY PRIZE, which is one of the showcased projects. See the entire exhibit here.


September 12, 2016

2016 Travel Fellowships are now posted! Read them here.


August 15, 2016


April 17, 2016

Winners of the 2016 BERKELEY PRIZE are announced today!  Four student essays were selected among many excellent entries.  See the winning essays here.

April 17, 2016

BERKELEY PRIZE 2016 Travel Fellows announced here!  Thank you to all who participated!

March 06, 2016

Finalist Essays have been announced!  See titles and countries of origin here.  Full details will be released in April.  

March 05, 2016

We are delighted to welcome Padma Maitland to the BERKELEY PRIZE Committee. Padma is a PhD Candidate in the Departments of Architecture and South and Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and the founder of the Architectural Journal Room One Thousand.

February 09, 2016

The BERKELEY PRIZE Travel Fellowship is now open to all 2016 Semifinalists!  Please click here for more information.



December 17, 2015

Congratulations to the 2016 Semifinalists!  See more about the 25 Semifinalist individuals and teams here.

October 23, 2015

Stage One Essay Proposals are due November 1st!  Click here to create an account and upload your entry!

October 14, 2015

Read about this example of an artist-inspired solution to homelessness.

September 29, 2015

World-(in)famous street artist and social provocateur “Banksy” uses his notoriety - and artistic license - to attempt to bring new attention to the plight of the current deluge of refugees into Europe.

September 15, 2015

THE 2016 BERKELEY PRIZE ESSAY COMPETITION IS NOW OPEN!  See the Question and learn how to enter HERE.

September 15, 2015

Read the new 2015 Travel Fellowship Reports here!

September 15, 2015

Avikal Somvanshi, BERKELEY PRIZE Committee Member and 2008 Architectural Design Fellow has been awarded this year's Fulbright-Nehru Master's Fellowship to study interface between buildings, city, and energy.

August 13, 2015

Watch for the launch of BERKELEY PRIZE 2016 on September 15!

April 23, 2015

Winners of the 2015 BERKELEY PRIZE are announced today!  Five student essays were selected among many excellent entries.  See the winning essays here.

April 23, 2015

BERKELEY PRIZE 2015 Travel Fellows announced here!  Thank you to all who participated!

March 12, 2015

Click here to see the Reserve: Archive of Top-Scoring Essays, a new addition to the BERKELEY PRIZE web site.

March 11, 2015

BERKELEY PRIZE Essay Competition Finalists announced!  See the Finalists here.

February 07, 2015

The Travel Fellowship closes at midnight GMT tonight!  All 2015 Essay Prize semifinalists are invited to submit proposals. Login here!

January 30, 2015

Read one of the latest JUDITH LEE STRONACH UNDERGRADUATE TRAVEL SCHOLARSHIP winners’ reports by U.C. Berkeley student, Julian Cuff Daley, for a first-hand description of architects confronting poverty in Chile. 

January 17, 2015

Dencity Competition 2015 open to architects, planners, students, engineers, designers, thinkers, NGOs and organizations from all over the world!  Click here for more information and to register.



December 17, 2014

2015 Essay Semifinalists announced!  27 authors from 12 countries have been advanced. See more information here.  All participants can view the Readers' comments about their Proposals by logging in.

December 16, 2014

Read about the BERKELEY PRIZE Teaching Fellows' recent participation at the International Association for Universal Design(IAUD) conference in Tokyo, Japan.  Find PowerPoint presentation and individual papers here.

November 09, 2014

Read the 2014 BERKELEY PRIZE Travel Fellowship Reports!

September 15, 2014

Andrew Amara, BERKELEY PRIZE Committee Member and 2006 Travel Fellow, has been garnering world-wide recognition for his Town Build project that is working to develop appropriate shelter solutions for informal settlements near Kampala, Uganda.  See more about Town Build here! 


September 15, 2014

Avikal Somvanshi, BERKELEY PRIZE Committee Member and 2008 Architectural Design Competition winner, has organized an exciting event under the auspices of the Centre for Science and the Environment that brings together architects and thinkers from around India to build a public dialogue around the potential of architecture to reduce pressure on resources.  The event will be held in New Delhi September 22-23.  For more information about the CSE Conclave on green architecture click here! 

September 02, 2014

2013 Teaching Fellows Reports now posted! Read them here.

September 02, 2014

See the 2014 Teaching Fellows' proposals here

September 02, 2014

Watch for the launch of BERKELEY PRIZE 2015 and this year’s new Web site on September 15.  Essay proposals due on November 1.

May 04, 2014

Reports from 2013 BERKELEY PRIZE Teaching Fellows now posted.  Read them here!

April 25, 2014

2014 BERKELEY PRIZE Teaching Fellowship is Launched!  

April 21, 2014

Winners of the 2014 Essay Prize Competition and Travel Fellowship are announced!  A full press release may be seen here. Thanks to all who participated!

February 15, 2014

We are delighted to welcome Erick Bernabe to the BERKELEY PRIZE Committee!  Erick is a social thinker and a student of architecture as activism.  Read his bio on the Committee Page.

February 13, 2014

Just published! An article by Acellam Benard (BERKELEY PRIZE 2011 Travel Fellow) on efforts by Acellam and other architecture students to help a struggling polytechnic in northern Uganda.  The article appears in Rebuild360, an online zine, “leading the next generation of socially responsible architects and designers”, published by Rebuild Global.  

February 11, 2014

Travel Fellowship is now open to all 2014 Semifinalists!  See details here.

January 27, 2014

We are delighted to welcome Christopher Ategeka to the BERKELEY PRIZE Committee!  Christopher is an engineer, inventor, and social entrepreneur.  He is CEO and founder of CA Bikes International which aims to connect individuals and communities in rural Uganda to critical health and education services by building and coordinating the distribution of locally made transport vehicles.  See Christopher's full bio on our Committee Page.



December 16, 2013

We are happy to announce that 35 authors have advanced to the Semifinalist stage!  Please see details here.

October 26, 2013

Congratulations!  Paul Broches, FAIA, a BERKELEY PRIZE Committee Member and past Juror, has been elected to the National Academy, a 188-year old community of artists, architects, educators, students, museum-goers, and those dedicated to the arts in America.  Paul is among just 2000 inductees recognized for their contribution to American art and architecture since the Academy’s founding and now, one of the 300 current members of the Academy.  See Paul’s profile here and read the National Academy’s announcement here.

October 24, 2013

Read about Healthhabitat, an Australian initiative with the goal of improving the health of disadvantaged people, particularly children, by improving their housing.  Watch a TED talk by its Director, Paul Pholeros and film interview from GLOBAL STUDIO Bhopal.

October 11, 2013

Explore the ground-breaking work of the Center for Design and Health at the School of Architecture, University of Virginia (USA) as you develop your proposals for this year’s Question.


September 15, 2013


September 15, 2013

Reports from the 2013 BERKELEY PRIZE Travel Fellows now posted! Read about their experiences here.

September 15, 2013

Read the winning proposals from the 2013 BERKELEY PRIZE Teaching Fellows here!

September 15, 2013

2011 Travel Fellow Acellam Benard now working as a creative writer for RebuildGlobal.

September 15, 2013

2013 Essay Competition Winner Faiq Mari appointed instructor at Birzeit University, Palestine.

May 15, 2013

Sophia Bannert's winning BERKELEY PRIZE 2013 essay published on See the posting here.


April 19, 2013

Winners of the 2013 BERKELEY PRIZE Essay Competition are announced!  Details are available here.

April 18, 2013

For a summary of BERKELEY PRIZE 2013, see here.

April 18, 2013

2013 BERKELEY PRIZE Teaching Fellows announced!  See details here.

April 18, 2013

2013 BERKELEY PRIZE Travel Fellows announced!  See details here.

March 20, 2013

FACULTY:  Explore another teaching fellowship opportunity that has a special focus on Universal Design being offered at University at Buffalo (New York) School of Architecture.  See details here!


March 15, 2013

2013 BERKELEY PRIZE Essay Competition Finalists are announced!  Click here for details.


February 26, 2013

FACULTY:  The new, 2013 BERKELEY PRIZE Teaching Fellowship for undergraduate architectural design faculty is now launched.  See Fellowships.  STUDENTS:  Be sure to tell your teachers!



September 15, 2012

BERKELEY PRIZE 2013 IS NOW LAUNCHED!  Read this year's essay question here.


September 14, 2012

The 2012 Travel Fellowship reports are now posted!  Read them here.


September 14, 2012

Joining us as permanent Committee Members are Robert Ungar, Clare Robinson, Preeti Talwai and Elaine Ostroff.  See their bios on the new Committee Page.


August 26, 2012

Andrew Amara,  BP2006 Essay award and Travel Fellow, and a BERKELEY PRIZE Committee Member has just recieved Architecture for Humanity's Founders' Award in their 2011 Open Architecture Challenge: (UN)Restricted Access competition for his "Paicho Huts near Gulu, Uganda" entry.  Click here to see the details on this proposal to convert a former Internally Displaced Persons camp to benefit rural country dwellers as a combination clinic, community center, market and memorial gallery.


June 16, 2012



June 16, 2012



May 31, 2012

Report from 2011 Architectural Design Fellow Preeti Talwai now posted!  Read about the results of the InFORMal Competition here.


May 19, 2012

Report from 2011 Global Studio Travel Fellow Christina Monzer now posted!  Read about her travels here.


April 04, 2012

2011 Architectural Design Fellow Joseph Audeh's Tap City competition featured in Bustler!


March 20, 2012

Report from 2011 Global Studio Travel Fellow Acellam Benard now posted!  Read about his journey here.


March 08, 2012

BERKELEY PRIZE 2012 Essay Competions Finalists announced!  Click here to see more.


February 16, 2012

BERKELEY PRIZE Committee Member, Roberta M. Feldman, and BP Emeritus Committee Member, Rafi Segal are part of Studio Gang's (Chicago) collaborative team of architects, urban designers and artists, one of five, whose ideas are showcased at New York's Museum of Modern Art in the temporary exhibit that just opened: Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream.  See the NEW YORK MAGAZINE review of the exhibition and their contribution, "The Garden in the Machine" here.


February 12, 2012

2011 Architectural Design Fellow Joseph Audeh's competition results are in!  See the report and winning entries here.


February 09, 2012

2012 Travel Fellowships and Architectural Design Fellowships are launched!  




December 27, 2011

Read 2011 Architectural Design Fellow Preeti Talwai's first report!


December 13, 2011

2012 BERKELEY PRIZE Essay Competition Semifinalists are announced!  Click here to see results.


December 12, 2011

The BERKELEY PRIZE proudly welcomes three new Committee Members: Sandy Hirshen, Cynthia Whitehead, and Friedner Wittman.

November 14, 2011

The BERKELEY PRIZE proudly welcomes three new Committee Members: Jan Wampler, Rachel Kallus, and Jason Miller.

October 30, 2011

Read new report from 2011 Travel Fellow Diana Mihai!


October 24, 2011

"Tap City", the local New York City design competition by BERKELEY PRIZE 2011 Architectural Design Fellow, Joseph Audeh, is launched.


October 20, 2011

The United Nations exhibition "Design with the Other 90%: CITIES" has opened in New York City. Read a review of this survery of Design for the Public Good from around the world, and an excerpt from the catalogue essay introducing the topic.

October 19, 2011

"Essays on the Social Art of Architecture" has been expanded to include all of the articles that have been posted on Facebook. Explore!

October 12, 2011

Read about New York City's success at providing Architecture for the Public Good.

September 15, 2011


September 15, 2011

Read reports from 2011 Travel Fellows Milenka Jirasko and Hriday Gami!

July 31, 2011

Watch for the launch of BERKELEY PRIZE 2012 on September 15, 2011.

June 12, 2011

Read (and watch) the 2011 Commencement Address at U.C. Berkeley's College of Environmental Design by BERKELEY PRIZE Committee Member, John Cary

May 01, 2011

2011 BERKELEY PRIZE ESSAY PRIZE WINNERS ARE ANNOUNCED TODAY! See more about the winning essayists here.

May 01, 2011

2011 BERKELEY PRIZE TRAVEL FELLOWS ARE ANNOUNCED TODAY! See more about the fellows here.

May 01, 2011


April 13, 2011

Announcements for all 2011 BERKELEY PRIZE awards will be made slightly later then anticipated - they will be available on or before May 1. Watch this space for the notice of the posting!

March 07, 2011

Finalists Announced! Click here to see more.

February 08, 2011

Fellowship Competitions are launched! These opportunities are open to all Semifinalists. Click here to learn more.

January 24, 2011

SEMIFINALISTS: Stage 2 essays are due February 1! Log in here to access your account.



December 17, 2010

SEMIFINALISTS ANNOUNCED! Click here to see more.

December 17, 2010

2010 Architectural Design Fellow Robert Ungar announces the results of his competition! Click here to download the results.

November 09, 2010

Thanks to all who submitted proposals for the 2011 BERKELEY PRIZE! Semifinalists will be announced in the middle of December.

October 21, 2010

Essay Proposals

October 21, 2010

2011 Essay PROPOSALS are due on November 1- just ten days from now. If you have any questions, be sure to post them in the Forum or send them to

October 17, 2010

Visit the FORUM for questions and answers about this year's competition.

October 16, 2010

Additonal past winning Essays and the winning Proposals that led to them have been posted. Go to the archives for 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007.

September 16, 2010

Use the new Berkeley Prize Forum to get help and search for a competition partner around the world!

September 15, 2010

BERKELEY PRIZE 2011 is launched! Explore the new website!

September 14, 2010

Read the 2010 BERKELEY PRIZE Travel Fellow reports here.

September 14, 2010

Read the progress report on the BERKELEY PRIZE 2010 Architectural Design Fellowship here.

September 08, 2010

Sign up for the GLOBAL STUDIO, this year in India, by September 22!

August 27, 2010

Watch for the launch of BERKELEY PRIZE 2011 on September 15!

April 28, 2010

BERKELEY PRIZE 2010 Essay Prize winners announced!

April 28, 2010

BERKELEY PRIZE 2010 Travel Fellows announced!

April 28, 2010

BERKELEY PRIZE 2010 Architectural Design Fellow announced!


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