Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Sign In
Magda Mostafa

Magda Mostafa is currently an associate professor at the construction and architectural engineering department at The American University in Cairo, where she helped develop their new program in architectural engineering, which was launched in 2007.



She was born and raised in Canada, and later came to Egypt to reside where she received her BS, MS and PhD in architecture from Cairo University. Her doctoral dissertation studied architectural design for children with special needs and sensory dysfunctions, with a focus on autism.

She has published various papers and articles on the subject in the National Autistic Society’s Communication magazine, ArchNet-IJAR and Open House International. She is currently working as a special needs design consultant for government and private sector projects in Egypt, the Gulf and Europe, as an associate at the Cairo-based architectural firm Progressive Architects. In 2004, in association with Progressive Architects, she completed designing the Advance School for Children with Autism in Qattemeya, Cairo, which was presented at the World Congress on Autism in Capetown, 2006, and is the first building to be designed based on her “sensory design” theory. For her contribution to special needs she was nominated for the 2005 UNESCO Prize for Research and Training in Special Needs Education for Children. To ensure her research extends beyond the realm of academia and reaches those most in need of it, she also conducts design workshops and seminars for parents and teachers of children with autism through various NGO’s, charity organizations and the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood in Cairo.



She has also published in the field of architectural education including her award-winning paper “Thinking Outside the Box - Addressing and Enhancing Visual/Spatial and Active Learning Skills in Architectural Education,” which was granted the International Award for Excellence in the Design Field in 2008. She presented this paper and conducted a plenary session at the Design Principles and Practice conference, held in Berlin in February 2009.

In addition, Mostafa is an active member of the Union of International Architects and is part of their working group on architectural education and validation, where she has contributed to the development of guidelines for architectural research as well as learning methods in architectural education. She is also active in their Architectural Competitions commission and in 2008 she was successfully nominated as president of the UIA’s International Student Competition Jury. She also sat as the UIA representative to the jury for the Lebanese Ministry of Culture’s “House of Arts and Culture” Design Competition, prepared by GAIA-Heritage, held in Beirut in 2009. Most recently, she was elected jury chair of the International Velux Award for students of architecture in Copenhagen as well as co-director of their draft panel on plagiarism in architecture.

Research Interests

Special needs and inclusive design

Publications

Refereed Journal Articles and Conference Proceedings

    • Mostafa, M.   (2012), "From Freedom of Expression to Expression of Freedom: Responding to Socio-Political Change in the Classroom," Association of the Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), (Xavier Costa, Martha Thorne, Eds.), USA: Association of the Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA).
    • Mostafa, M., (2011), "Inspiration vs. Plagiarism: Academic Integrity in Architectural Education", International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Common Ground Publishing, 1, 85-100, (Jeffery Poss, FAIA, University of Illinois & Bill Cope, University of Illinois, Eds.), Champaign, Illinois, United States: International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Common Ground Publishing. http://constructedenvironment.com/Journal/
    • Mostafa, M., Mostafa, H. M. H.-d. (2010), "How do Architects Think? Learning Styles and Architectural Education", International Journal of Architectural Research (IJAR), Massachusetts Institute of Technology ArchNet, 4, 310-317, (Ashraf M. Salama & Michael J. Crosbie Eds.), Boston, Massachusetts, United States: International Journal of Architectural Research (IJAR), Massachusetts Institute of Technology ArchNet. http://archnet.org/gws/IJAR/10541/
    • Mostafa, M., Nassar, K., Rifki, A. (2010), "Visualization Skills for the New Architectural Forms", International Journal of Architectural Research (IJAR), Massachusetts Institute of Technology ArchNet, 4, 346-358, (Ashraf M. Salama & Michael J. Crosbie Eds.), Boston, Massachusetts, United States: International Journal of Architectural Research (IJAR), Massachusetts Institute of Technology ArchNet. http://archnet.org/gws/IJAR/10541/
    • Mostafa, M. (2010), "Housing Adaptation for Adults with Autistic Spectrum Disorder", Open House International, Urban International Press, 35, 37-48, (Nicholas Wilkinson, RIBA, Eds.), Mersin & London, Turkey & Great Britain: Open House International, Urban International Press. http://www.openhouse-int.com/
    • Mostafa, M. (2008), "An Architecture for Autism: Concepts of Design Intervention for the Autistic User", International Journal of Architectural Research (IJAR), Massachusetts Institute of Technology ArchNet, 2, 189-211, (Ashraf M. Salama, Ed.), Boston, Massachusetts, United States: International Journal of Architectural Research (IJAR), Massachusetts Institute of Technology ArchNet. http://archnet.org/gws/IJAR/8821/
    • Mostafa, M. (2008), "Thinking Outside the Box- Addressing and Enhancing Visual/Spatial and Active Learning in Architectural Education", The International Journal of Design Principles and Practices, Common Ground Publishing, 2, 113-120, (Bill Cope, University of Illinois, Eds.), Champaign, Illinois, United States: The International Journal of Design Principles and Practices, Common Ground Publishing. http://designprinciplesandpractices.com/Journal/
    • Sherif, A. H., Sherif, N. H., Mostafa, M. (2008), "Developing a New Architecture Curriculum: Achieving Educational Goals within Program Constraints", Oxford Conference, 2008: 50 years on- Resetting the Agenda for Architectural Education, WIT Press, (Susan Roaf et al, Ed.), Southampton, Boston, United States: Oxford Conference, 2008: 50 years on- Resetting the Agenda for Architectural Education, WIT Press. http://oxfordconference2008.co.uk/
    • Sherif, A. H., Mostafa, M., Sherif, N. H. (2007), "From Theory to Practice: Application of Egyptian Special Needs Design Codes- Accessibility vs. Inclusion", ArchCairo 2007 Conference Linking and Bridging: Academia and the Professional Realm, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt: ArchCairo 2007 Conference Linking and Bridging: Academia and the Professional Realm, Cairo University. http://www.archcairo.org/Conferences/2007/conference-e.htm
    • Mostafa, M. (2006), "An Architecture for Autism- A New Dimension in School Design", Second World Autism Congress, World Autism Organization, Autism South Africa & Jessica Kingsley Publishing, Cape Town, South Africa: Second World Autism Congress, World Autism Organization, Autism South Africa & Jessica Kingsley Publishing. http://www.autismcongress.com
    • Mostafa, M. (2006), "Let Them be Heard: Appropriate Acoustics for Autism- Special Needs School Design", ArchCairo 2006 Appropriating Architecture and Taming Urbanism in the Decades of Transformation, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt: ArchCairo 2006 Appropriating Architecture and Taming Urbanism in the Decades of Transformation, Cairo University. http://www.archcairo.org/Conferences/2006/conference-e.htm

    Technical Reports