Monika Thadhani, Architect, Designer and Urban Planner, Part Time Professor at College of Architecture, IIT Chicago. She is a Founder and Principal of MoNa Architecture, Planning and Design office in Chicago focused on transformative architectural and urban small and large scale projects that are the physical manifestation of the values which she advocates in her teaching. She is also a Founder of “Education for Future” non-profit organization focused on providing access to education in the 3rd world countries by funding, designing and building school facilities in distressed areas. She remains socially active and engaged in the realities of the world today. She is also a partner and expert of the International Architectural Organization, Laka Reacts, which connects the experts in Architecture from all over the world in developing relevant and authentic solutions to specific social issues.
She has received her Master in Architecture from Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago and another Master in Architecture from the University of Technology in Wroclaw, Poland. She has over 17 years of professional experience in Architecture and has worked for several companies in Chicago, Germany, Beijing and Poland. In addition to working as an Adjunct Professor at College of Architecture at IIT, Chicago for the past 5 years she has been also teaching and lecturing at International Architecture Workshop in Venice with collaboration with faculty and students of IUAV, University of Venice, working on a conceptual projects such as “Mose”, “Sea Scraper”, “Venice Towers” “Inverted Urbanism” and “Urban Innovation” organized by IUAV, University of Venice. She has been also teaching and lecturing at International Architectural Summer Workshop at ETSAB in Barcelona.
She was recently recognized with BD+C (Building Design and Construction) 40 under 40 award as “Influential Individual” for her achievements and strong design leadership in architectural design along with her influence in creating dialog between practice and academia.
Her professional experience is diverse and comprehensive including projects for residential, commercial, cultural, institutional, hospitality and government facilities. Her focus is on the connection between planning and architecture and their relationship to natural phenomenon as well as to the wider disciplines of art, film, music, philosophy and literature, forming a holistic and innovative view of how she approaches the built environment as an enabler and enhancement of social and cultural development. As a designer and thought leader her work eschews traditional thinking as default responses to contemporary issues, she rather develops an authentic language of design, where architecture becomes a holistic and clear solution to the problem. She is a progressive and critical thinker, what is visible in her professional and academic work. Her teaching and practice are focused on transformative projects with an ecological approach, reinforcing community, social equity, the importance of institutions and the ecologically challenged environment.