The first recipient of University of California at Berkeley’s 2012 Berkeley-Rupp Architecture Professorship and Prize goes to Deborah Berke, FAIA, founder and partner of Deborah Berke and Partners in New York.
Awarded by UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design, the prize will be given biennially to an architect or academic who has worked to promote the advancement of women in architecture, and whose work exhibits sustainable and community-focused aspects.
Berke’s firm has 33 staff—about half men and half women. She mentors women in the field, and encourages female students as an adjunct professor of architectural design at Yale University. She told ARCHITECT in July that despite the exceptions—among them Zaha Hadid, Hon. FAIA, Jeanne Gang, Elizabeth Diller, and Annabelle Selldorf—the vast majority of women face “death by a thousand cuts,” such as being ignored in male-dominated meetings, low salaries, and student debt.
With bachelor’s degrees in fine arts and architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design, as well as a degree in urban design from The City University of New York, Berke has received awards for the 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, Ky., the Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York, and 48 Bond Street in New York.
Outside of her firm, she serves as a founding board member and vice president of desigNYC, and in the past, has served on the Forum for Urban Design Board of Directors, and is a founding trustee of The Design Trust for Public Space. She has also been vice president of AIA New York and a trustee of the National Building Museum.
The prize includes $100,000, a semester-long professorship, a public lecture, and gallery exhibition at the College of Environmental Design.