Jonah Coe-Scharff

Jonah Coe-Scharff

New York, NY, US



Jonah Coe-Scharff is an architectural writer, designer, and researcher based in
Princeton, NJ, and New York. He holds a dual master's degree in architectural studies and history from Cambridge University, where his research focused on the history and politics of low-cost housing design in New York City. His theatrical set designs have been produced in Cambridge, UK, New Haven, CT, and upstate NY, as well as at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He is currently an M.Arch. candidate at Princeton School of Architecture.


Somatic Collaborative, New York, NY, Research Assistant / Designer

Jun 2019 - Jul 2019

WORKac, New York, NY, Junior Designer

Mar 2017 - May 2018

Various theater venues, Scenic Designer

Lead designer for 11 student/amateur theater productions. Venues included Edinburgh Fringe Festival (UK), Cambridge University Amateur Dramatic Club (Cambridge, UK), Yale Theater Studies Department (New Haven, CT), Yale Dramatic Association (New Haven, CT), Greenville High School (Greenville, NY), GCC Summer Youth Theater (Rensselaerville, NY)

Drew plans, built models, managed budgets, supervised construction and painting. Collaborated with professional as well as amateur directors, including Annette Jolles, a member of the Theater Studies faculty at Yale.

Assisted professional scenic designers Jason Sherwood and Jason Simms at the Yale Dramatic Association.

Aug 2007 - Oct 2015

Dorset Theatre Festival, Dorset, VT, US, Scenic Painting Apprentice

Trained under Broadway scenic artist Elaine Sabal as her sole assistant for Dorset's 4-show summer season. Mastered a variety of scenic painting techniques. Assisted with carpentry and rigging tasks.

Jun 2014 - Aug 2014

Yale University, New Haven, CT, US, Peer Mentor

As one of a small group of students hired to facilitate campus theater productions, advised student designers and technicians. Organized and led workshops on theater safety, design process, and scenic painting. Established best practices and interviewed later applicants, as one of the program’s inaugural employees.

Aug 2012 - May 2014

Yale Dramatic Association, New Haven CT, Technical Director

Leadership position in a student organization. Supervised 20 students executing a professional designer’s plan. Prepared shop drawings and designed structures. Managed a $3700 budget. Spearheaded an overhaul of technical direction procedures to promote efficiency and peer-to-peer mentorship.

Aug 2012 - Nov 2012, New Orleans, LA, US, Research Analyst and Development Intern

Proposed and developed a CRM (constituent relationship management) database implementation plan to lay groundwork for long-term growth. Staffed and helped to organize a summit, evacuation drill, and volunteer trainings. Updated and expanded the organization's website.

( is a nonprofit that trains volunteers to assist the New Orleans city government in the event of a mandatory evacuation.)

Jun 2011 - Aug 2011


Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, US, MArch, Professional M.Arch.

Sep 2018 - current

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, GB, Masters, Architecture and Urban Studies

“Conceptualizing the Minimum Dwelling, 1900-1950"
M.Phil. Dissertation, Cambridge Department of Architecture.
Supervised by Nicholas Bullock.
A historical account in six episodes of the repeated reinvention of the concept of the "minimum dwelling" in U.S. housing discourse, from the era of tenement regulation to the advent of Levittown, with a focus on New York City.

Other papers on: The American Suburban House of the 1920s / Alison and Peter Smithson / Domestic Architecture in Film

Oct 2015 - Oct 2016

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, GB, Masters, Political Thought and Intellectual History

“Imagining the City in the Mid-Twentieth-Century American Left”
M.Phil. Dissertation, Cambridge Faculty of History.
Supervised by Timothy Rogan.
An examination of the thought of Lewis Mumford and Paul Goodman, illustrating the importance of architecture, public housing, and urban planning for new developments in post-Marxist social theory between 1922 and 1960.

Oct 2014 - Jun 2015

Yale University, New Haven, CT, US, Bachelors, History

“New Roads in Leftist Thought: Dwight Macdonald, Lewis Coser, and the Postwar Crisis of American Marxism”
B.A. Senior Essay, Yale Department of History. Advised by Beverly Gage.
Winner, John Porter Prize in American History and the Diane Kaplan Memorial Prize for outstanding research in Yale archives.

Additional coursework in Architecture, Political Theory, American Studies, Humanities, Mathematics

Sep 2010 - May 2014


Alexander Pike Prize, Award

Departmental dissertation prize for "Conceptualizing the Minimum Dwelling, 1900-1950"


Paul Mellon Fellowship, Scholarship

Supporting two years of study at Clare College, Cambridge. Administered by Berkeley College, Yale University, and awarded to three Yale graduates each year.


Friedman Summer Travel/Research Fellowship, Grant

Supporting a summer of research in London, investigating the archives of Raymond Unwin and others, for a project, "Architecture as Praxis: Socialism and Workers' Housing in Early Twentieth-Century Britain."


Areas of Specialization