Submitted by alvin on Mon, 2016-06-20 19:18 Manipal: Vishnupriya Viswanathan, an UG student at the Faculty of Architecture, Manipal University, has bagged the first prize in the 18th Annual Berkeley Prize Essay Competition organised by the University of California, Berkeley.“It means a lot to me,” said Vishnu who is keen to pursue PG in Architecture Criticism in the US or the UK after completing her under-graduate studies at FOA. “I was always interested in writing and this is going to be a big boost for me as I want to take up architecture journalism.”The competition asked contestants to write on the topic “Architects Confronting Homelessness”, and Vishnupriya’s 2500-word essay titled, “Paving Better Paths for Little Feet” was awarded the first prize along with a prize money of $6000. “Being the biggest competition of the kind for architecture students, it is a great achievement,” said Prof Nishant Manapure, Director, FOA. “We are proud of her. She is one of our bright students and we are extremely thrilled at her achievement. She has brought laurels not only for the department and Manipal University, but also to the country.”Being from Chennai, the material for Vishnupriya’s essay came from her encounters with the city’s homeless children, whose lives are being transformed by NGO Karunalaya.Vishnupriya’s impressive achievement comes close on the heels of FOA student Vinod Thomas winning second prize for designing a waterless toilet in a competition organised by the Indian Railways.