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An international, on-line essay competition open to undergraduate students of architecture dedicated to the proposition that architecture is a social art. 

Purse $5000 (USD)

This year's competition is dedicated to UNESCO World Heritage, in honor of the 30th anniversary of the founding of UNESCO. The competition essay question has now been published on-line, and Stage One entries will be accepted on-line between November 15 and December 10, 2002. 

Professor Raymond Lifchez, Chair of the Berkeley Prize Committee, announces the fifth annual Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectural Design Excellence Competition, sponsored by the Department of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley.

The Berkeley Prize Competition is an on-line essay contest (www.berkeleyprize.org) open to undergraduate architecture majors in accredited schools of architecture throughout the world. The Berkeley Prize supports the study of Architecture as a Social Art, and acknowledges excellence in architectural writing and thought among undergraduate students, worldwide, through discussion and examination of the social aspects of design.

The 2003 Berkeley Prize Competition has been named a Special Event of "World Heritage in the Digital Age," a Virtual Congress helping to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention (www.virtualworldheritage.org/whc.unesco.org). Organized by the UNESCO World Heritage Center, the Virtual Congress is one of six global conferences and related events scheduled to highlight the far-reaching goals of the World Heritage Convention to "maintain, increase, and diffuse knowledge, by assuring the conservation and protection of the world's heritage." 

The 2003 Berkeley Prize theme and Question is dedicated to the critical work of the World Heritage Convention. This year's competition asks the question: 

When architects strive to create lasting monuments, some become part of the significant cultural heritage of our age. These successes seem to embody the most socially important values of a city, region, country, or even the world. Other attempts are only the reflection of the vanity of the designer or client and pass into oblivion. Worse, they become a permanent blight on the environment. As an architect, specifically, how can your work simultaneously embody the social values of one place, a particular culture, and universal human concerns? 

There are two new features of the on-line competition that it is hoped, will foster increased communication among interested students studying architectural design worldwide. "FORUMS"(http://www.berkeleyprize.org/forums/), an on-line bulletin board, allows students to express their interests about the competition, and will also permit students to find teammates throughout the world. The UNESCO Virtual World Heritage Live CHAT ROOM will allow interested students to take part in exchanges with participants in the Virtual World Heritage events.

This year's Berkeley Prize Jury includes Professor Brit Andresen, Architect, University of Queensland, Australia; Francesco Bandarin, Director, UNESCO World Heritage, Paris, France; Professor Jo Noero, Architect, University of Cape Town, South Africa; and Professor Brigitte Shim, Architect, University of Toronto, Canada.

Competition entries must be submitted in English. There is a limit of one entry per student or two-person team of students. This year's total purse is $5000.00 (U.S.), with a minimum $3000.00 (U.S.) first prize.

Proposals for an essay addressing the Question will be accepted on-line from November 15 until December 10, 2002. Semi-finalists will be asked to submit a 2500-word essay based on their Proposals on Jan.15, 2003. Winners will be announced on May 1, 2003.

Last year, one-hundred eighteen students representing twenty-nine countries and sixty-nine undergraduate programs of architecture on six continents participated in the Competition via the Internet. This year an even larger response is anticipated.

For further information, including this year's schedule, details on the composition of the Jury and Prize Committee, the full text of last year's winning essays, and the history of the Prize, visit the Berkeley Prize website, http://www.berkeleyprize.org.


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