Essay hits home

A UNSW architecture/law student has won first place in the 2008 Berkeley essay competition.

FBE Sonya redman

Final year architecture/law student Sonya Redman has won first place in the 2008 Berkeley essay competition.

The Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Design Excellence promotes architecture as a social art through research, writing, and criticism: traditionally under-represented aspects of the architecture curriculum.

Sonya's winning essay, "Shaping Identity and 'Place' in Australian Indigenous Housing", looks at the impact of housing on minority groups.

"I have learnt that there is an overwhelming need for housing and public space design to be always mindful of sustainably incorporating community needs and, in particular, to ease the adversity faced by some members of our community," says Sonya, who divides her time between the Faculty of the Built Environment and the Faculty of Law.

"After university I hope to work towards creating more equitable communities in Australia and abroad.

"The juncture of architecture and law is an exciting one. It is a space that has the capacity to facilitate social justice, empowerment and self-determinism through the interaction of the built environment and social policy."

Students from 18 countries entered the competition, including the US, Kuwait, Uruguay, the Philippines, Switzerland, Nigeria, and China. Each student submitted a 500 word essay, addressing this year's topic 'Competing to Serve'.

Twenty-five entrants were selected as semi-finalists and completed a 2,500 word essay expanding on their initial proposal.

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