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The Urban Urge Prize is given in honor of Moji Baratloo (1954 - 2013) to an individual or team of students in the MSAUD program.

A prize of up to $3,000 will be given in honor of Moji Baratloo to a student or team of students at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation in the MSAUD program. The prize is a seed grant to fund a physical and/or programmatic intervention that grows out of work and research from the Summer or Fall Semester Urban Design Studio.The prize shall be used for materials, equipment, transportation, or other related expenses. Applications are currently being accepted online until Wednesday, December 17 at 10:00AM. Scroll below for guidelines and further details.

Mojdeh (Moji) Baratloo (1954 - 2013) was an architect, urban designer, educator and community advocate whose work made critical contributions to the field of Urban Design and the development of cities globally. As a core faculty member in the Urban Design Program at GSAPP, she was an innovator in Urban Design pedagogy and she urged her students, friends, colleagues, and collaborators to have conversations across disciplinary and social boundaries to make our cities, regions, and world more livable, sustainable, enjoyable.


Whisper Wall by Betsy Daniels, Leslie Chuang, Wan-ting Tsai, and Sofia Valdivieso, installed at the Teen Film Festival in Poughkeepsie.

Solar Place by Faisal Alzakari, Ruilan Jia, Jose Ponte, and Xiaohan Wang, urban furniture powered by renewable energy, installed at the Family Partnership Center in Poughkeepsie.


The deadline for submission of proposals is Wednesday, December 17 at 10:00AM. Submit your proposals via the online application site here.

The prize is awarded at the end of the Fall semester to students who identify and illustrate a small tangible physical and/or programmatic intervention to be realized within 12 months of submission as a means of “seeding” the larger studio proposal. Projects may include an event, a small installation, a storefront activation, a publication, or a walking tour, and can refer to the Summer or Fall semester studio project.

Proposals will be judged according to the following criteria:

Innovate: Presents creative and unique ideas that push the boundaries and test concepts of transforming urban environments

Transform: Reimagines or transforms an urban space through the conceptual design and execution of a real project that can be experienced at the human scale

Engage: Convenes a community to participate in the proposed space, design or activity, and helps people to learn about and/or change their environment (even if temporarily); proposals should identify local partners where possible.

Realize: Demonstrates feasibility within timeframe and budget and/or the ability to raise additional funds to realize and document the project (this can include crowdfunding or other resourcing)

To be considered for the prize, students must submit the following in PDF format via the online application form:

  • a statement of purpose of approximately 300 words
  • up to 3 pages of illustrations to describe the intervention
  • a preliminary budget

Students are free to submit their proposal as individuals or in teams. The proposal should clearly identify the larger argument to be tested by the proposed intervention. Submitting teams may vary from the studio teams.


10/15/18: Announcement of Urban Urge Prize 2019

12/17/18: Proposals due

01/20/19: Announcement of winners

01/19-08/19: Winners have the opportunity to discuss and refine their intervention with a faculty mentor over the course of the implementation phase. This might include advice on fabrication and material, on managing relationships with partners and agencies for permits, programming and budget, and additional fundraising or project promotion.

5/19: Winners receive Prize funds at graduation

09/19: Winners submit project documentation (5 images or a short video for Urban Urge website and Abstract)


Mojdeh (Moji) Baratloo (1954 - 2013) was an architect, urban designer, educator and community advocate whose work made critical contributions to the field of urban design and the development of cities globally. As a professor, colleague, and friend, she influenced a generation of architects, designers, policy makers, and urbanists.

Moji Baratloo at the 2011 Mayor's Institute on City Design Conference hosted by GSAPP

Born January 21, 1954 in Tehran, Iran, Moji moved to the United States to study Architecture at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor where she obtained her B.S. and M. Arch. in 1978. After studying Urban Design at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, Moji worked at Gunnar Birkerts and Associates before moving to New York City in 1979, where she worked with Eli Attia Architects, and Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects. In 1981 she was one of the founding members of the Storefront for Art and Architecture and was a member of the board of directors during its first decade. In 1984, she founded Baratloo-Balch Architects with Clifton Balch, where she was a Principal.

From 1986 to 1990, Moji developed and implemented an award-winning architectural education program for elementary to junior high school students in New York public schools. Her research portfolio on architectural education for young students helped establish the Design Education Library at the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City. Her work was recognized by UNESCO’s Award of Innovation in Education, and was extended citywide by the AIA Design Education Program.

Moji was on the Architecture and Urban Design faculty at Parsons The New School for Design and, for over twenty years, at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP). As a core faculty member at GSAPP she was an innovator of urban design pedagogy and a proponent of using both digital media and face-to-face dialog to extend the scope of research, practice, and reach of urban work.

Inside the studio and beyond it, Moji engaged her students in local, national and international movements, including studios in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Venezuela, Italy, Ecuador, China, and across New York City, State, and the nation. She was an early advocate for the preservation and transformation of the New York City’s High Line into a protected public park, and proposed and led the 2011 Mayors’ Institute on City Design (East) at Columbia’s GSAPP. Over the course of her career, she held numerous visiting professorships including at Cornell University, Harvard University, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, University of Toronto, University of Queensland, Australia, Southern California Institute of Architecture, the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen, and Washington University in St. Louis.

In 2004, Moji founded URGe - Urban Research Group, a pioneering center of professionals and academicians committed to cross-disciplinary theoretical and practical research. With URGe, Moji spearheaded an integrated approach to urbanism that engaged architecture, landscape, infrastructure, and policy to respond to the changing ecological and social conditions of the contemporary global city.

Moji was the author of many books on urban design and architecture, including an award-winning book with Clifton Balch, Angst: Cartography, and her work has been featured in The New York Times, Architectural Design, Architecture and Urbanism, The Village Voice, and the* American Book Review*.

A registered Architect in New York State, Moji’s work received accolades from the American Institute of Architects, The Architectural League of New York’s “Emerging Voices” series, “Forty under Forty” Award, I.D. Annual Design Review Award, and Interiors magazine, and she was a recipient of research grants from the* National Endowment for the Arts, Australian Research Council, the *Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), New York State Council on the Arts, and the New York Foundation for the Arts.