MASS Design Group co-founder and Managing Principal Sierra Bainbridge has been named as the winner of the 2023–2024 Berkeley Rupp Prize by the University of California at Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design (CED).
The biannual $100,000 prize is among the best-funded academic opportunities in the country and comes with a year-long residency at the CED. Bainbridge will teach a seminar in the fall of this academic year, followed by a studio course on climate design in the spring. The CED says the funding will help dedicate the rest of her time on campus towards “inspiration and reflection that may inform future contributions to the profession.”
Bainbridge added: “The Berkeley Rupp Prize supports an intentional shift in the focus and impact of my work, expanding the learnings of cultural healing through memorials toward the urgency of planetary healing.”
The prize was established to spotlight the impact of women in the design field and is funded thanks to a generous gift from 1966 B.Arch alumna Sigrid Lorenzen Rupp.
“We are delighted that Sierra will be joining the distinguished group of Berkeley Rupp Prize winners, bringing to the college her visionary focus on cultural and environmental stewardship through design,” CED Dean Renee Y. Chow said in a statement. “A member of the nomination committee remarked, ‘What an astonishing ‘half’ career! What will her next half of her career bring?’ While we know that our community will learn much from Sierra, we also hope that Sierra will find her time here on campus rewarding to her future work.”
A press release mentioned Bainbridge’s further intents to “elaborate” the One Health philosophy central to her firm’s designs for the Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture and the Ellen DeGeneres Campus at the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. Bainbridge comes to Berkeley with past academic experience at the Boston Architectural College and Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST).
She will also deliver a related public presentation this spring as part of the College of Environmental Design lecture series.
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