Harrison Fraker named top 2014 architecture educator
UC Berkeley NewsCenter
17 December 2013
Harrison Fraker was named as the 2014 recipient of the Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education, the most prestigious award for architectural education in the United States. The award, jointly awarded by the AIA and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, honors an individual who has been involved in architecture education for a decade or more and whose teachings have influenced a broad range of students. A professor of architecture and former dean of UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design, Fraker has been a leading proponent of the academic study of energy use in buildings, and has dedicated decades of research to the sustainability movement. Fraker will be presented the award at the annual ACSA convention in April and at the AIA National Convention in June.
“He has profoundly influenced the teaching of architecture and urban design through his many students over the years,” said Jennifer Wolch, current dean of UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design. “An early advocate of design strategies for energy efficiency, Harrison pioneered their integration into mainstream architectural curricula, affecting a wide range of architecture programs. These innovations have shaped the thinking of successive generations of architects, in turn influencing practice.”
As the recently appointed chair of the UC Berkeley Energy and Resources Group, Fraker continues to research the relationship between energy, resources and the built environment. During his time as dean of CED from 1996-2008, Fraker raised over $30 million in endowments for the college. He was actively involved in the design and development of the UC Berkeley campus as chair of the campus design review, and worked to design and build a temporary complex for the Wurster Hall faculty in a seismic retrofit and partial renovation of the CED home.
Fraker specializes in passive solar, daylighting and sustainable design research and teaching, along with pursuing his own award-winning practice. His research focus includes affordable manufactured housing, sustainable development and the building of transit-oriented, resource-self-sufficient neighborhoods in China using a whole systems design approach. Fraker continues to teach at Berkeley, and his studio courses focus on sustainable systems and urban design principles for transit-oriented neighborhoods.
Fraker is a Fellow of the AIA as well as the Design Futures Council. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for founding the University of Minnesota College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, where he served as the first Dean. He was educated at Princeton and Cambridge Universities and holds a B.A. and MFA Architecture from Princeton University, where he established the Center for Environmental Studies (now part of the Princeton Environmental Institute). Fraker is the author of The Hidden Potential of Sustainable Neighborhoods: Lessons from Low-Carbon Communities (Island Press).
Past UC Berkeley winners of the Topaz Medallion include Joseph Esherick (1982), Spiro Kostof (1992) and Donlyn Lyndon (1997).