The University of California, Berkeley College of Environmental Design invites applications for the Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Design Excellence in 2021
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. Typically, 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. This year, architecture students must team up with undergraduates from allied arts and social sciences programs and submit proposals in teams of two.
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.
Worth of Award
- There is a total prize of 35,000USD, minimum 7,500USD first prize. The remaining purse is to be allocated at the discretion of the Jury.
- At the conclusion of the Essay Competition submittals, all Semifinalists are also invited to submit a proposal for a BERKELEY PRIZE summer Fellowship. This year, the opportunity is a Community Service Fellowship. Details for this new Fellowship will be announced in early 2021.
- 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, 2020, but one or both of you graduate before the awards are scheduled to be given.
Judging for the essay competition is on a numeric system. The members of the BERKELEY PRIZE Committee are asked to evaluate each essay in terms of the following criteria:
- Does the Proposal address the Question?
- How creative, or creatively developed, is the Proposal?
- Would the Proposal be clear to a broad audience?
- How does the Proposal rank in terms of writing style?
- How socially significant is the Proposal?
- What is the potential for developing this Proposal into a strong essay?
Each criterion is given a score of 1 to 5 (5 being the highest). The top approximately 25 scoring Proposals become Semifinalists.
How to Apply
- Meet the Requirements listed.
- Write a 500-word proposal for an essay on this year’s Essay Question, as posted.
- Provide one photograph each of your chosen projects.
- Submit the essay and photographs online.
Deadline: Applications are due by November 1, 2020