Scrafano Architects



Elissa Scrafano, principal and founder of Scrafano Architects, has been practicing architecture for more than 22 years and is a registered architect in California, Illinois, and Michigan. She knew by 16 that she wanted to be an architect and never strayed from that goal and mission.

Before establishing Scrafano Architects in 1997, Elissa worked at the offices of Frank O. Gehry and Associates, Eric Owen Moss Architects, Narduli Grinstein Architects, and Landworth Debolske Architects. She has taught model and object making and architectural drawing at Southern California Institute of Architecture SCI-Arc, University of California at Irvine, and Woodbury University in Burbank. In addition, she has been a guest critic on several undergraduate and graduate student reviews.

Elissa received a B.S. in architecture from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, with a concentration in art history, in 1985 and a master’s in architecture with honors from Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in Los Angeles in 1990. She was a guest student at the Architectural Association in London and the Staadelschule in Frankfurt, Germany, and also studied history of art and architecture in Italy.

She has traveled extensively throughout Europe, North America, Asia, and Central and South America. Growing up in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, she was influenced by the architecture, art, and gardens of Cranbrook Academy in Bloomfield Hills as well as her travels around the world with her family. She was one of the first girls to play boys little league baseball, ran track, and was all state in tennis.

Elissa was recently appointed to The Cultural Heritage Commission of Los Angeles by Mayor Eric Garcetti.

In addition to architecture, Elissa is passionate about traveling with her husband Tim Sullivan, fashion, art museums, cooking, literature, music, product design, running, hiking, tennis, skiing, and her niece Isabella and nephews Charlie and Cole in Birmingham, Michigan.

Contact
elissa@scrafano.net
Education
  • University of Michigan
  • SCI-ARC
Favorite Books
Ulysses, James Joyce; Middlesex, Jeffery Eugenides; A Fine Balance, Royton Ministry
Favorite Film
The Godfather
Favorite Buildings
Pantheon in Rome, La Tourette by Le Corbusier, Berlin Philharmonic by Hans Sharoun
Person who most influenced my creativity
My Grandmother Ninfa, who is 101. She taught me to how to draw, make things, and create. She is probably the reason I became an architect.
Favorite Large Cities
Rome, London, Istanbul, and Palermo
Future Travel Plans
China and Sicily
Motto/Quote
“Live each day as if it were your last” and “You are never too old to make new friends.”