Berkeley Prize – 2012 ESSAY PRIZE COMPETITION


AN ESSAY CONTEST IN THREE STAGES – 12,500USD PURSE

OPEN TO ALL CURRENT FULL-TIME REGISTERED STUDENTS IN AN UNDERGRADUATE ARCHITECTURE DEGREE PROGRAM OR UNDERGRADUATES MAJORING IN ARCHITECTURE IN ACCREDITED SCHOOLS OF ARCHITECTURE WORLDWIDE.

Background

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. This year the topic is: Architecture for the Public Good.

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 (see eligibility requirements).  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, 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.

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, 2012. 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 2012 Essay Competition, you will consider this legacy and its relevance to you as future architects.

 

STAGE 1: ENTER

Steps to Enter

Meet the Eligibility Requirements
Write a 500-word proposal for an essay on this year’s Essay Question, as posted
Provide a photograph of your selected building
Submit the essay and photograph online.

Eligibility
The competition is open to all current full-time registered students in an undergraduate architecture degree program or undergraduates majoring in architecture in accredited schools of architecture worldwide. The competition is only open to students pursuing their first degree. An exception will be made for Diploma in Architecture students who have not yet completed their Diploma.

Essays must be submitted in English.
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 you were an undergraduate student on September 15, 2011, but graduate before the awards are scheduled to be given.

Team Up
Two students (maximum) who meet the eligibility requirements above may collaborate as authors. An architecture student may team up with another undergraduate in architecture, landscape architecture, urban studies, arts and humanities, the social sciences, or engineering. If two students collaborate, then both names must appear on their essay and if awarded a prize, the prize is to be equally shared.

Photograph Requirement
You are asked to include one digital photograph of your selected building(s) or place with your essay. The photograph should be at a minimum 500 pixels wide, and in .jpg format. No more than one photograph will be accepted. You can use a digital camera, a film camera (and scan the printed image), or even capture the image on a cell phone. The photograph should be as informative as possible in order to enable those reading the essays to determine how well you have described your subject matter. The Readers and Jurors are instructed NOT to add or detract points from their evaluation because of the quality of the photograph itself. To the contrary, one of the primary purposes of the essay format is to test your skill in describing a building in words, rather then pictures or drawings. So, do not assume that just because you have posted the photograph that your responsibility to describe your selected building is completed. As with the readers, use the photograph to continually reference how good a job you have done in describing your selected building(s) or place in words.

Judging Criteria
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 Proposal is given a score of 1 to 5 (5 being the highest). The top 25 scoring Proposals become Semifinalists.

Purse
There is a total prize of 12,500USD, minimum 4,000USD first prize. Remaining purse to be allocated at the discretion of the Jury.

Calendar

  • September 15, 2011 Launch of 2012 Essay Competition.
  • November 1, 2011 (Stage One) 500-word essay proposal due.
  • Mid-December, 2011 Essay Semifinalists announced.
  • February 1, 2012 (Stage Two) Essay Semifinalists’ 2,500-word essays due.
  • February 8, 2012 Launch of Fellowship Competitions for Essay Semifinalists.
  • Early-March, 2012 Essay Finalists announced.
  • March 8, 2012 Travel Fellowship and Architectural Design Fellowship Entries Due.
  • Mid-April, 2012 Essay winners, Travel Fellowship winners, and Architectural Design Fellowship winners Announced.

Registration and Submission
You will be asked to complete a short registration form which will not be seen by members of the BERKELEY PRIZE Committee or Jury.

REGISTER HERE.

Additional Help and Information

Are you in need of assistance? Please email info@berkeleyprize.org.

Official Website:

http://www.berkeleyprize.org/competition/essay/2012

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