2021 Berkeley Essay Prize

Each year, the PRIZE Committee selects a topic critical to the investigation of the social art of architecture and poses a Question based on that topic.

Category Idea Competition / Open to Students
Type International, Idea, Students, Two-Stage, Onymous
Genre Essay
Country United States
RegDeadline 1 November 2020 GoogleCal iCal
1 November 2020 (via Online)
Eligibility All current full-time registered students in an undergraduate architecture degree program or undergraduates majoring in architecture in accredited schools of architecture worldwide

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.
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.

Gauri Bharat
Aboubacar S. Komara
Clare Robinson
Jørgen Bech Taxholm

There is a total prize of 35,000USD, minimum 7,500USD first prize.

Entry Fee

(Stage One) 500-word essay proposal due: November 1, 2020
Essay Semifinalists announced: Mid-December, 2020
(Stage Two) Essay Semifinalists' 2,500-word essays due: February 1, 2021
Launch of Travel Fellowship Competition for Essay Semifinalists: February 8, 2021
Essay Finalists announced: Early-March, 2021
Community Service Fellowship proposals due: March 12, 2021
Essay winners and Community Service Fellowship winners announced: Mid-April, 2021

Past winners

Berkeley Prize Committee

Official Website