The Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Design Excellence endowment was established in the Department of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley College of Environmental Design to promote the investigation of architecture as a social art. 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.
The Committee poses a Question on this website related to the topic. Students enrolled in any accredited undergraduate architecture program or diploma in architecture program throughout the world are invited to submit a 500-word essay proposal in English responding to the Question. Qualified students may also team up with undergraduates from allied arts and social sciences programs and submit proposals in teams of two. (For general requirements see the To Enter page).
From the pool of essay proposals received, approximately 25-28 are selected by the PRIZE Committee as particularly promising. The selected student teams become Semifinalists. These Semifinalists are invited to submit a 2,500-word essay, again in English, 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.
- All proposals must be submitted by a two-member team.
- Essays must be submitted in English.
- Both finalists will be required to provide proof of current registration in the form of copies of actual school transcripts. You are still eligible to compete if both of you were an undergraduate student on September 15, 2019, but one or both of you graduate before the awards are scheduled to be given.
One member of the team must be a current full-time registered student in an undergraduate architecture degree program or an undergraduate majoring in architecture in an accredited school of architecture worldwide. Diploma in Architecture students who have not yet completed their Diploma are also eligible. The other member of the team must be a current full-time registered student in a non-architecture undergraduate degree program and majoring in that program in an accredited school worldwide. This could include urban studies, the social sciences, engineering, etc. Both students names must appear on their proposal and essay and if awarded a prize, the prize is to be equally shared.
Read more about the eligibility here.
There is a total prize of USD 35,000 , minimum USD 7,500 first prize. The remaining purse is to be allocated at the discretion of the Jury.
How to Apply?
In order to apply you will be asked to complete a short registration form which will not be seen by members of the BERKELEY PRIZE Committee or Jury.
For more information and in order to apply, please visit the official web page.