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2013 Berkeley Prize Winners Announced
Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 |

Winners of the 15th annual BERKELEY PRIZE competition have been announced. The 2013 prize program focuses on the topic: 'The Architect and the Accessible City.' 152 architecture students from 26 countries responded to this year’s question: "Provide us with an overview of what is being done in your city to make it accessible to people who have physical disabilities. In your opinion as an architect, what more can be done?"

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First Prize: Sophia Bannert: Daunting Steep hill, taken from a wheelchair perspective

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First Prize: Sophia Bannert: Daunting Steep hill, taken from a wheelchair perspective

Through three distinct competitions - the Essay Competition; the Travel Fellowship Competition; and new this year, the Teaching Fellowship Competition - the international BERKELEY PRIZE competition encourages undergraduate architecture students and their teachers worldwide to go into their communities for the purpose of thinking and writing about issues central to the understanding of the social art of architecture.

The 2013 BERKELEY PRIZE recipients are:

Essay Competition

First Prize: Sophia Bannert, studying at University of Lincoln, United Kingdom for her essay, "A Day in the Life of a Wheelchair User: Navigating Lincoln" (4,500USD).

Second Prize: Faiq Mari, studying at Birzeit University, Palestine for his essay, "A Resilient Past and a Promising Future; Disability in Ramallah" (3,500USD).

Second Prize: Faiq Mari: Abu-Raya Rehabilitation Center, Ramallah

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Second Prize: Faiq Mari: Abu-Raya Rehabilitation Center, Ramallah

Third Prize (tied): Slavka Gavencha from Bulgaria, studying at the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom for her essay, "Access Denied?" (2,250USD).

Third Prize (tied): Slavka Gavencha: The Arena

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Third Prize (tied): Slavka Gavencha: The Arena

Third Prize (tied): Caitlin Copeland, studying at the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom for her essay,"The Disabled Traveler in Edinburgh" (2,250USD).

Third Prize (tied): Caitlin Copeland: A typical close leading from Edinburgh's Old Town to New Town

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Third Prize (tied): Caitlin Copeland: A typical close leading from Edinburgh's Old Town to New Town

This year's Essay Jury includes:  

Chris Downey, Architect, Chris Downey Architecture for the Blind, San Francisco, California, USA, and Lecturer, University of California, Berkeley College of Environmental Design, specializes in projects for or significant to the blind and visually impaired. 

Deepak K.C, (Khatri Chhetri) is widely acknowledged as the first wheelchair-using architect in Nepal. He is an active leader in the disability movement and a founding member of Independent Living Center Kathmandu. 

Rachna Khare, Ph.D.,  Associate Dean and Professor, School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal, India, and coordinator of the Centre for Human Centric Research (CHCR), has lectured and published extensively on the subject of Inclusive Design worldwide. 

Camilla Ryhl, Ph.D., Professor at the Bergen School of Architecture in Bergen, Norway, and Senior Researcher at the Danish Building Research Institute, Aalborg University, Denmark where she heads the Institute’s research in the field of accessibility and inclusive design.

Travel Fellowship Competition

This year’s winners are:

Malvika Mehta from the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, India. Malvika will travel from Delhi to Avila, Spain to attend the “Tourism for All” conference, where she will potentially present a paper; and then on to Lyon, France where she will serve as a volunteer at the Paralympics.

Mandy Oeni from the National University of Singapore. Mandy will travel from Singapore to Chicago, USA to attend the “Spontaneous Interventions: Design actions for the common good” exhibition; and then on to New York, USA to participate as a volunteer at the “FIGMENT” participatory art festival, and to study universally accessible places in the area.

Hanan Qureshi from the India Institute of Technology Roorkee, India. Hanan will travel from Roorkee to Vancouver, Canada on a self-directed research trip arranged, in part, with faculty from the University of British Columbia Department of Sociology to study successes in accessible design throughout the city of Vancouver.  

Ben Wokorach from Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda. Ben will travel from Kampala to London, United Kingdom to participate in the Architectural Association summer workshop, “Campaigning Architecture.”

All of the students receive round-trip airfare, a stipend for daily expenses, and program costs for their specific travel plans. Click here to see the complete proposals from the winners.

BERKELEY PRIZE Committee members Roddy Creedon, Principal, Allied Architecture+Design, San Francisco and Lecturer in Architecture, U.C. Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design; and Helaine Kaplan Prentice, ASLA, partner in Prentice & Prentice, Inc. Design Consultants, Lecturer at U.C. Berkeley, and Faculty Affiliate at the Center for Community Innovation at Berkeley’s Institute of Urban and Regional Development, gave special assistance in selecting the Travel Fellows.

Teaching Fellowship Competition

Starting in 2013, the BERKELEY PRIZE Committee broadens the scope of the activities of the prize by offering faculty who teach undergraduate architectural design worldwide an academic-year Teaching Fellowship. The primary goal for the BERKELEY PRIZE Teaching Fellowship is to focus students’ attention on the social and physical characteristics of the proposed users of the buildings and spaces they design: the social art of architecture

Under the large umbrella covered by the term Universal Design (which has evolved from studies in "Barrier Free Design", "Accessible Design", "Transgenerational Design", and "Adaptable Design", and which is now considered to be synonymous with "Design for All" and "Inclusive Design,"), faculty are asked how specifically they would adapt their studio classes to place emphasis on design that is inclusive of the full range of human diversity with respect to ability, language, culture, gender, age and other forms of human difference.

There are five inaugural Teaching Fellowships awarded this year: 

Allan K. Birabi, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, Makerere University Department of Architecture and Physical Planning, Kampala, Uganda, for the purpose of teaching aspects of Universal Design in the Foundation Year of the B.Arch. program at his school. 

Eve A. Edelstein, Ph.D., Associate AIA, Associate Professor, University of Arizona College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Tucson, USA, for her course, “Expanding the Universe of Design: Applying a Neuro-Architectural Process to Create Accessible Cities,” in collaboration with the University of Arizona Disability Resource Center. 

Ajay Khare, Ph.D., Founder-Director of the School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal, India, for his course, “Universal Design for Cultural Interface at Sacred Site of Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, India” 

Alex MacLaren, RIBA, Design Tutor, Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA), Edinburgh, United Kingdom, for her courses on ”Social Housing” and “Civic Futures”. 

Josh Safdie, Associate AIA, Adjunct Faculty Member, Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt), and Director of the Studio at the Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD), both in Boston, USA, for his courses to be taught at MassArt, “Urban Visionaries: Sustainable City/Inclusive City”, and “The 100 Acres: Housing for All.”

All Teaching Fellows receive a 7,500USD award.  For complete applications of the selected 2013 BERKELEY PRIZE Teaching Fellows, including course syllabi, click here.

BERKELEY PRIZE Committee Member, Elaine Ostroff, Hon. AIA, Co-founder, Adaptive Environments, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, who wrote an Introductory Essay for this year’s BERKELEY PRIZE competition and for whom the inaugural Teaching Fellowship Competition is dedicated, gave special assistance in selecting the Teaching Fellows.



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