Prize Essay Competition

Prize Essay Competition-41
Students: If you become a semifinalist in the Essay competition, you have the opportunity through the TRAVEL FELLOWSHIP to propose visiting a foreign locale for a hands-on research experience tied to the subject of your Essay. The buildings under consideration for this year's [2018] Question, The Women's Jail by Kate Otten Architects and the Hector Pieterson Museum by Mashabane Rose Architects are buildings that have exemplified architectural resilience in South Africa over the past decade, particularly in celebrating the fight against oppression in the post-apartheid South Africa.The buildings come into existence during a paradigm shift in the South African landscape; after the fall of the apartheid regime.

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So the emergence of the buildings in the new South Africa primarily deals with the redressing of their brutal political and architectural history.

The social art of architecture, in this case, is the alteration of spatial meaning respectively.

Built of mud and located in a flood prone area, the city "remains at severe risk of major damage unless necessary preventive measures are taken...[involving] the conservation and use of Shibam oases, which are considered as the buffer zone of the property." Photo credit: Will De Freitas. From the World Heritage listing: "Abandonment of the old agricultural flood management system in the wadi, the overloading of the traditional sanitary systems by the introduction of modern water supply combined with inadequate drainage, together with changes in the livestock management have all contributed to the decay of the city." Photo credit: Twiga_Swala , Rweru Green Village, Rwanda, 2016. Resilient Districts include four central tenets 1) protecting critical infrastructure, 2) thickening regional soft systems, 3) transferring density to less vulnerable areas, and 4) encouraging landscape-based land uses in low laying areas. A fast-track eco-friendly dis-mountable housing prototype that can be used to provide semi-temporary housing post-natural disaster in tropical regions. Designed and built by: Sandeep Virmani and Kiran Vaghela.

Rwanda's Green Fund invested in Rweru Green Village by providing water tanks, including this one which is connected to mains water to serve the community in times of drought. Built by unskilled volunteers using bamboo ladders, coconut-coir ropes and recycled tetrapak sheets on a retired tracker-trolley the structure has been use since. The campus is living laboratory of innovation and experiments with traditional building techniques and modern lifestyle requirements. Designed by: Donlyn Lyndon FAIA, with Tomas Frank and Associates, Architects. The Endowment » The BERKELEY PRIZE strives to show architects-in-training that the smallest act of building has global implications: that design can and does play a major role in the social, cultural, and psychological life of both the individual and society at large.

An example of low cost and low carbon footprint housing.

Photo credit: Neelakshi Joshi Kompong Khleang, Cambodia. This fishing village sits on the Tonle Sap Lake that historically rises as much as five-fold during the rainy season.

This village is a striking example of vernacular flood adaptation, and potentially a model for low-lying areas where climate change is resulting in increased flooding. Houses are built both on stilts and as floating habitats. ( This 16th century city of towers in the Wadi is an outstanding example of density and natural climate control. This is a unique example where a formal architectural project has incorporated incredible innovations taking place outside the professional world to help improve environmental performance of formal construction industry.

The city is on the United Nations World Heritage Danger List. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism at MIT introduced a working concept of “resilient districts” for urban areas that are vulnerable to climate impacts. "Shallow dome roofing" developed by informal masons from a village in northern India have made it possible to reduce use of steel and cement in building construction lowering its carbon footprint. Designed and built by: Avikal Somvanshi and Manu Gopalan, 2012.

"Humanistic values are the fundamental values of good and evil, right and wrong, just and unjust, as carried out by individuals and societies in service of or against humanity" (Leslie Lipson). To be eligible for the Lipson Essay Prize, students need to be freshmen or sophomores and have a minimum 3.5 grade-point average (GPA).

Students from any field of study are welcome to apply.

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