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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. Her doctoral dissertation studied architectural design for children with special needs and sensory dysfunctions, with a focus on autism. She’s 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. She was more recently awarded the UIA’s Architecture for All Research Award in 2014 for her Autism ASPECTSS Index. More information about her work can be found at http://www.autism.archi.  

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 (UIA) 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 has recently been appointed to represent the Education Commission on the UIA’s Joint Panel on Professional Practice and Architectural Education. She is also active in the UIA’s International 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; sat as jury president in the International Velux Award in 2010 in Copenhagen; and rejoined the International Velux Award as a jury member in their 10th anniversary cycle in 2014. 

Research Interests

Special needs and inclusive design; design pedagogy

Publications

Scholarly Books

  • Mostafa, M., Stryker B., and Nagati O, Learning from Cairo: Global Perspectives and Future    Visions, Cairo, Egypt, Ford Foundation, (2013)
  • Mostafa, M. (accepted for publication), An Architecture for Autism Chicago Ill., Common Ground Publishing, (pending publication date)

Expert Essays in Books

  • Mostafa, M., “An Architecture for Autism” in Environmental Psychology for Design, 2nd edition, Kopec D. (author), New York: Fairchild Publishing, (2012)

Symposium Books and E-books

  • Mostafa, M., Tarabieh K., Vogler, A., Vittori A., Cairo Green, Cairo: Spirit Publications, (2013). (http://issuu.com/magdamostafa/docs/cairo_green)

 Refereed Journal Articles 

  • Mostafa, M., (accepted for publication, 2014), "An Architecture for Autism: Built Environment Performance in Accordance to the Autism ASPECTSS™ Design Index," The International Journal of Design in Society
  • Mostafa, M. (2014), "From Freedom of Expression to Expression of Freedom: Responding to Socio-Political Change in the Classroom," Journal of Education in the Built Environment, 9 (1), 35-47.
  • Mostafa, M. (2014) "An Architecture for Autism: Application of the Autism ASPECTSS™ Design Index to Home Environments," The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, 4 (2), 25-38.
  • Mostafa, M. (2014), "Architecture for Autism: Autism ASPECTSS™ in School Design," The International Journal of Architectural Research, 8 (1), 143-158.
  • Mostafa, M.   (2011), "Inspiration vs. Plagiarism: Academic Integrity in Architectural Education," International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Common Ground Publishing, 1 (3), 85-100.
  • Mostafa, M.   and H. Mostafa (2010), "How do Architects Think? Learning Styles and Architectural Education," International Journal of Architectural Research (IJAR), Massachusetts Institute of Technology ArchNet, 4, 310-317
  • Nassar, K., M., Mostafa, and A. Rifki (2010), "Visualization Skills for the New Architectural Forms," International Journal of Architectural Research (IJAR), Massachusetts Institute of Technology ArchNet, 4, 346-358
  • Mostafa, M.   (2010), "Housing Adaptation for Adults with Autistic Spectrum Disorder," Open House International, Urban International Press, 35 (1), 37-48
  • 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 (1), 189-211
  • 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 (1), 113-120

Editorials in Peer Reviewed Journals

  • Mostafa, M.(2013), "Editorial: Expanding Normal: Towards a More Inclusive Approach to Designing the Built Environment," Open House International, Urban International Press, 38, 4-7, Gateshead, Great Britain.

Articles in Non-peer Reviewed Journals and Professional Magazines

  • Mostafa, M. (October, 2006), "Viewpoint: Enabling Architecture," Communication Magazine, The National Autistic Society, 38, (Miranda Kemp, Ed.), London, United Kingdom
  • Mostafa, M. (April 14, 2014), "Learning from Cairo: What Informal Settlements Can (and Should) Teach Us," ArchDaily, USA

Technical Reports

  • Mostafa, M. (2009), The House of Arts and Culture Lebanese-Omani Center International Architectural Competition Jury Report, 13. http://www.uia-architectes.org/texte/england/Beyrouth2008/2-results.html
  • Mostafa, M. (October (4th Quarter/Autumn) 2006), "Viewpoint: Enabling Architecture", Communication Magazine, The National Autistic Society, 38, (Miranda Kemp, Ed.), London, United Kingdom: Communication Magazine, The National Autistic Society. http://httwww.autism.org.uk/en-gb/get-involved/become-member/what-are-the-benefits-of-membership/communication-members-magazine.aspx
  • Mostafa, M., Sherif, A. H., Sherif, N. H., Supreme Council of Universities Accreditation Report, Architectural Engineering Program, AUC, 341.
  • Mostafa, M., UIA International Union of Architects Validation Report, Architectural Engineering Program at the American University in Cairo, 377.