The history of architectural medals derives from the initial use of medals more generally, the first being given by Alexander the Great for military achievement.
Medals were intended to be used as jewelery. But they were also a form of propaganda, often given to politicians to recognize their support for a particular group and their interests.
Today, all architectural medals are made of precious metals and their design still reflects the earliest military medals. In contrast to a medal, the physical representation of the Berkeley-Rupp Prize is crafted from the humblest of materials, clay, and is spatial and non-hierarchical. The design is a 3-dimensional object fabricated under the new paradigm of additive manufacturing to represent a new worldview about the role of architects in today’s society.
The first documented trophy was made of clay—a ceramic amphora filled with oil and given to the winners of the Olympic Games. The Berkeley-Rupp Award comes in a contemporary amphorae, digitally crafted using materials and processes developed by Emerging Objects.
Design: Virginia San Fratello, Ronald Rael
Materials: Cement polymer and ceramic
Process: 3D printing
Fabrication Team: Ronald Rael, Seong Koo Lee, Bryan Allen, ceramic fabrication by Figulo