Mersiha Veledar (b. Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina), is an architect and an educator. She graduated with honors from the Cooper Union School of Architecture in 2003 where she received the prestigious Irma Giustino Weiss Prize for creative distinction. She received her Master’s in Architecture from Princeton University in 2005. Since, she has been teaching fourth year Urbanism Studios at the Cooper Union with Professor Diane Lewis and Professor Lebbeus Woods and working as a design architect at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, LLP.
Exhibitions: Her academic work has been exhibited throughout Europe and the United States. In 2006 she was invited to participate in the “Europe Lost and Found” exhibition. In 2005, her Cooper Union thesis, advised by Lebbeus Woods and Anders Abraham, was exhibited at the Contemporary Museum of Art (Gallerie fűr Zeitgenössische Kunst) in Leipzig, Germany in an exhibition titled “Kulturelle Territorien.” In 2002, an urban studio project, done under the direction of Diane Lewis, was shown at the XXI UIA World Congress of Architecture in Berlin. The same year, her drawings were exhibited in the “Drawing on the Human Spirit” exhibition at the New York Society for Arts, Religion and Contemporary Culture. Paintings she did of the devastation of downtown New York on 9/11 were documented by Channel 1 NYC's “After the World Trade Center.”
Publications: Her work has been published in Catálogos de Arquitectura, Nº. 20, 2007; Architects Draw, Princeton Architectural Press, 2007; Gewandhaus Vorschau, Article; Photography Now, 2005, Nr1.05; Kunstindex.Leipzig, Balkan Urbanismus, Die bosnische Chronik Die Zukunft ist nicht, was sie einmal WAR, 2005; Body, “Inside NJ the ‘Garden’ State: 6000 Brownfields”, 2005; Camera Austria, Nr. 88, 2004; Ein Architektur-Novum, 25 November 2004, Sϋdwest Presse, 2004; StadtBauwelt, (48/04), 23 December 2004; Mersiha Veledar interview, Architecture Heals Thesis Project and War Architecture Research, 2004, The Cooper Union Magazine; Text, Intertext, Context: The Literary Dimension of the City: Rome, Berlin, New York, The New Egyptian Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2002, The Cooper Union.
Lectures: In December 2009, Mersiha gave a lecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture in Copenhagen and served as a Guest Professor in the “Architecture, City and Building” Department, with Professor Anne Romme. In 2006, she was invited by Bauhaus Kolleg, Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, Friedrich-Ebert Foundation to take part in the UN-Urbanism Program of the Bauhaus Kolleg. Additional invited experts included: Azra Aksamija (Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, MIT), Aleksandr Stular (UN-Habitat Mostar), Rolf van Uye (Director of OSCE, RC Mostar), Andrea Vonkeman (UNHCR Sub-Office Mostar), Michael Weichert (Friedrich Ebert Foundation). In 1998, she spoke at the New York University School of Medicine addressing the psychological and physical effects of war. In 1996, she spoke at an international press conference at the United Nations about her personal path of survival from a war torn country.
Award and Recognitions: Upon Graduating from the Cooper Union Mersiha was the recipient of The Irma Giustino Weiss Prize, an award presented to a single graduating student in architecture demonstrating exceptional potential for creative achievement. In addition, she received the George Ledlie Fund Prize, the AIA New York Chapter and The New York Foundation for Architecture Grants and Scholarships Architectural Auxiliary Eleanor Allwork Scholarship Grant, the AIA/AAF Scholarship for First Professional Degree Candidates, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) Albert Shanker College Scholarship Fund, and the Richter Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Professional Experience: Mersiha is a practicing architect in New York. Since 2006, she has worked at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill as part of the Education Lab studio headed by design partner Roger Duffy and design director Scott Duncan. Her most recent projects include High School of Art & Design and Primary School # 59, located on 57th Street and 2nd Avenue in New York City (under construction); Elizabeth Academic High School, located in Elizabeth, New Jersey, (starts construction in 2010); Chattrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai, India ( under construction). She has also worked on the winning competition entry for the new airport in Lisbon, Portugal. Mersiha is currently working on the first major building to be built in a new city planned on the edge of Mumbai, India.
Additionally, Mersiha was nominated to curate the SOM evening lecture series for 2010, and was the editor of the SOM Journal in 2008.