Last week the American Institute of Architects and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture awarded their annual Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education to Deborah Berke. An award-winning architect and current dean of the Yale School of Architecture, Berke also won RECORD’s 2021 Women in Architecture Educator Award.
Berke’s four-decade career has centered around equitable access to architectural education, with a particular focus on cross-disciplinary curriculums. After graduating from RISD, where she established a high-school level architectural studies program at New York’s Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies, Berke taught at the University of Miami and the University of California, Berkeley. As Yale’s first woman to serve as dean, she has spearheaded initiatives to diversify the faculty and student body as well as overseen the Yale Center for Ecosystems in Architecture and the development of an undergraduate urban studies major.
Berke founded her solo practice in 1982, which expanded to Deborah Berke Partners in 2002. The firm’s work features a broad portfolio of academic and cultural institutions amongst other private and commercial projects. In a letter supporting her nomination for the award, architect Robert A.M. Stern wrote, “Deborah has not only played a critical role in welcoming new faces to the school and to the profession, she has also proven herself an intellectual leader…Her studios and seminars, imbued with what she describes as ‘the architecture of the everyday,’ reflect a fundamental humanity she brings to all her work.”
Winner of Architectural Record’s 2022 Women in Architecture Educator Award: Architect & Educator Deborah Berke, FAIA