Associate Professor, Architecture and Urban + Environmental Planning

2008   University of Technology Vienna, Institute for Urban Design and Landscape, Dr. techn. (Doctoral Degree) in Urban Design (with distinction)

1996   University of Technology RWTH Aachen, Faculty of Architecture Dipl. Ing. (Professional Architecture Degree BArch/MArch equiv)

Mona El Khafif, Dr. techn. is an Associate Professor at UVA School of Architecture, co-author of the award winning publication ‘URBANbuild: Local/Global’ (with Ila Berman) and author of ‘Staged Urbanism: Urban Spaces for Art, Culture and Consumption in the Age of Leisure Society’ (German edition). Her research operates at multiple scales, examining the interdisciplinary aspects of urban design, temporary urbanism, urban prototyping, and strategies for the smart city. At UVA El Khafif serves as the RCN director of the recently funded NSF Grant entitled “MainStreet21” supporting a network of small and midscale cities in Virginia and co-directs the school’s initiative on Smart Environments.

El Khafif started her academic career 2000 in Vienna, Austria at the Institute for Urban Design and Landscape Architecture, where she taught urban research and design studios and lead the urban core studio for 5 years. 2006-2007 she joined the URBANbuild HUD grant at Tulane University in New Orleans dedicated to the rehabilitation of 4 neighborhoods in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. From 2008-2013 she was an Associate Professor at CCA California College of the Arts in San Francisco where she lead the division’s URBANlab and chaired the college's new 2 year post-professional Master of Architecture in Urban Design and Landscape program. From 2013-2016 El Khafif taught at the University of Waterloo, Canada where she co-directed the school’s DATAlab. Recently from 2016-2017 El Khafif was a guest professor at the TU Dortmund, Germany at the Institute of Urban Design. At UVA she teaches the graduate urban architecture studio, urban research and design studios as well as urban elective seminars investigating networked systems of urban mega regions.

In her design practice El Khafif worked on multiple temporary urban art interventions and exhibitions among those: 10x10 Cities: Green Facts Challenges, Futures in cooperation with AIASF, OPspace (El Khafif, Bieg) an installation designed for the re-activation of empty storefronts presented at the 2010 ZERO1 Biennial and iLOUNGE (El Khafif, Del Signore) commissioned by ZERO1 and Northern Spark Minneapolis in 2012. In 2013 during the Urban Prototyping Event in San Francisco Mona El Khafif and Marcella Del Signore presented two urban prototypes: The 10 Mile Garden and Instant Play Ground. Together with Maya Przybylski she launched her first research project at DATAlab entitled “On The Line”. OTL presents a transit-oriented cultural guide by highlighting and connecting transit riders with local arts, culture, architecture, heritage, commerce, recreation and entertainment activities along the 200 iXpress bus route. Her recent work entitled Urban Syncopation (Berman, El Khafif, Beites, Del Signore) was presented in 2016 on the Toronto Art and Design festival Nuit Blanche.

Since 2013 El Khafif is a partner with Ila Berman of SCALESHIFT a design research firm located in Toronto.

Her urban elective seminars are offering a variety of operational methods and tools for urban analysis investigating urban territories from the mega regional scale to the neighborhood and urban typologies. Under her guidance El Khafif’s thesis and PhD students received major recognitions. Among those Nada Nafeh who was awarded the Next Generation 3rd Prize Middle East Africa Award from the Lafarge Holcim Foundation [$ 15,000] for her thesis „[In]formal Pattern Language_A guide to Handmade Improvitecture© in Cairo” 2016, Montgomery De Luna who received the who received the Canadian thesis NSERC CGS-M scholarship of $ 17.000 for his thesis “The 3D City” in 2016, Kanika Kausal who was awarded with the AIA Certificate in 2016 for her thesis „Learning from Old Dehli_Decoding Urbanity”, and Alexander Dunkel, who received the 1st prize ASLA Research Award 2012, for his PhD research  “Networked Landscapes”. El Khafif has exhaustive experience in organizing global workshops and travel programs and lectured internationally in the US, Austria, Germany, China, Iran, and Canada.


2013   Book chapter “Multiscalar Negotiations. The Master Plan as Mediator” in WU Campus     Vienna, BOA Buero fuer offensive Aleatorik, 2013, (I. Berman/ M. El Khafif)

2011   Book chapter, “Global Metropolitan Areas”, in Schichten einer Region, ed. C. Reicher, K.    Kunzmann, J. Polívka, F. Roost, Y. Utko, M. Wegener, Ruhrgebiet 2010, Jovis Verlag,                      Dortmund June 2011, p. 16-37 (M. El Khafif / F. Roost)

2013   Waiting Land: Temporary Design Operations CCA Campus San Francisco, CCA Print by order [El Khafif editor]

2013   Beyond Census: The Life of Middle Eastern Immigrants in Post 9/11 America, CCA Print     by order [El Khafif I Qutami editors]

2009   Inszenierter Urbanismus. Urbaner Raum fuer Kunst, Kultur und Konsum im Zeitalter der   Erlebnisgesellschaft [Staged Urbanism. Urban Space for Art, Culture and Consumption in               the Age of Leisure Society], VDM Publisher, Saarbrücken, August 2009, 588 pages,                       ISBN 978-3-639-15730-7, (author M. El Khafif)

2009   URBANbuild local I global, digital publication, [Berman I El Khafif]

2009   URBANbuild local I global, William Stout Publisher, San Francisco USA, September 2009, 453 pages, ISBN 978-0-9795508-9-8, (I. Berman/ M. El Khafif)

Exhibition Design and Curation

2015  Material Matters - Emerging Practices, Riverside Gallery, Idea Exchange, Cambridge         October – November, [Berman, El Khafif, Przybylski]

2014  On The Line. A Gallery of Publicly Accessible Destinations Waterloo Region, [El Khafif,         Przybylski], Kitchener Studio, July – August 2014, Bus Shelter Campaign, Waterloo                          Region, July – December 2014

2012   Global Perspectives: Architecture Summer Studios 2012, CCA, San Francisco, [El Khafif,   Steinmueller]

2012  SPECULATIONS Thesis Exhibition, CCA, San Francisco, May 2012, [El Khafif, Anderson,       Ruiz]

2011  Architecture Cross-Section, CCA California College of the Arts, San Francisco, January         2011, [El Khafif, Steinmueller]

2009  10x10 Cities: Green Facts, Challenges and Futures, [AIASF, CCA URBANlab, Project Lead   El Khafif], 3A Gallery, San Francisco, April 2009, Bus Shelter Campaign, San Francisco,                 April 2009, Department of the Environment, San Francisco, September 2009, CCA Nave,               San Francisco, September 2009

2008  City of the Future, San Francisco 2108, California College of the Arts, [El Khafif,                 Donohue], September 2008

2007   URBANbuild II, Ogden Museum Annex, New Orleans; [El Khafif, Berman]

2004   Constructing Architecture, Making It, Event Space 5th District, Vienna, Austria, [M. Gilbert,  M. El Khafif]

2003   Archdiploma2003, Thesis Exhibition, TU Vienna, [M. El Khafif, M. Tomaselli], Kunsthall Project Space, Vienna, Vienna, October 2003, City Lights Exhibition, Vienna, October 2003, Screenings and Media Presentations, City Lights, Karlsplatz, October 2003


Exhibition Participation 

2016 - 2018  Urban Syncopation – Urban Prototype featuring live feed sound data, [Berman, El Khafif, Beites, Del Signore], Venice Biennale Data and Matter Exhibition 2018, UVA Bicentennial, October 2017, ASCA Conference Project Exhibition, March 2017, Toronto Nuit Blanche October, 2016

2015   MarketScene, Urban Prototyping Event, San Francisco, April 2015 [El Khafif, Iwan, Srapyan]

2012 - 2014  The 10 Mile Garden, Urban Prototyping Event, San Francisco, October 2012,  [El Khafif, Del Signore, Iwan, Lopez], 10 Mile Garden, ACSA Conference, Miami, Project Exhibition, April 2014

2012 - 2015 The InstantPlayGround, Urban Prototyping Event, San Francisco, October 2012,  [El Khafif, Del Signore, Iwan, Lopez], New York, Exhibition Urban Urge Awards, April 2015        

2012 - 2013  iLOUNGE interim I instant I interactive, Commission and Installation [El Khafif, Del Signore], iLOUNGE talks_A digital Public Space, ZERO1 Garage, March 2013 [El Khafif, Iwan], iLOUNGE instant/ interim/ interactive, ACSA Conference, SF, Project Exhibition, March 2013, ZERO1 Garage, January - March 2013 , ZERO1 Biennial September 2012, San José, Northern Sparks, June 2012, Minneapolis

2010 - 2012  OPspace, open operable opportunity, Commission and Installation [El Khafif, Bieg with CCA URBANlab], WBA3 Architecture in the Expanded Field, Opspace Presentation, CCA Wattis Gallery California College of the Arts, March 2012, California College of the Arts, Architecture Cross Section San Francisco, Project Show, January 2011, ZERO1 Biennial 2010, San José, October 2010


Grants and Commissions

2017   USOAR Undergraduate Student Opportunities in Academic Research Grant, financial support for two undergraduate research assistants, $ 9,000

2017   Co-Investigator, “MainStreet21 Research Coordination Network”, NSF Smart Communities Grant $ 495,000 (PI Berman, Co-PIs Rheuban, Cai, Cheng, RCN director El Khafif)

2017   Co- Principal Investigator, Smart Environments: Data I Policies I Design, Human Informatics Grants, $ 50,000, (w/ Ripple)

2017   Co- Principal Investigator, „Community-centered Urban Sensing“, SARC Faculty Summer Research Project and Publication, Grant $10,000, (w/ Mondschein)

2014   Co- Principal Investigator, On The Line, OTL Research Fund, Region of     Waterloo $ 24,000 (w/ Przybylski, Haldenby)

2014   Commission, Urban Prototyping Gray Area Foundation, MarketScene, $2,000 (w/I wan, Srapyan)

2014   Urban Urge Award, Seed Fund for InstantPlayGround, (with Marcella Del Signore)

2014   Urban Urge Seed Grant for InstantPlayGround, (w/ Del Signore, Lopez, Iwan)

2012   Commission, Urban Prototyping San Francisco, The 10 Mile Garden, (w/ Del Signore, Lopez, Iwan)

2012   Commission, Urban Prototyping San Francisco, InstantPlayGround, (w/ Del Signore, Lopez, Iwan)

2012   Co-Principal Investigator, ZERO1 Emerging Artists Network Grant for iLounge $1,500 (w/ Marcella Del Signore)

2012   Commission, ZERO1 and Northern Sparks, Project Grant for iLounge $10,000 (w/ Marcella Del Signore)

2012   Faculty Curriculum Grant California College of the Arts, $1,750 (Beyond Census)

2010   Principal Investigator, ZERO1 Biennial Event Grant for Absolute Zero

2009   Commission, AIA San Francisco, 10x10 Cities, $20.000

(10x10 Cities Committee)

2006   Co-Principal Investigator, URBANweb Tulane Research Enhancement Fund,

            $40,000.00 (w/ Ila Berman PI)

Honors and Awards

2013   First Prize, Fort Mason Urban Design Competition, Team West 8 (with West 8, bionic, HRA, Jensen Architects, SCALESHIFT Berman El Khafif)

2010   Communication Arts Design Annual 51, 2010 (Berman, El Khafif, Aufuldish for URBANbuild)

2010   AIGA Design Award, 50 Books / 50 Covers 2009 (Berman, El Khafif, Aufuldish for URBANbuild)

2009   First Prize, “ASCA Green Community Award”, International Student Design Competition

1997   Hünnebeck Prize, Faculty of Architecture RWTH Aachen, Germany