Srdjan Jovanović Weiss

From: Subotica, Serbia  Current City: New York City, NY
"It’s not that I’m talking strictly to Americans or others; it’s just that there is an immanent exchange going on between all of us. The contributions of this exchange are not really measurable in some kind of number or nationality. They are simply there as common sense."
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Mr. Jovanović Weiss’s story is a testament to the incredible power of human connections: he forged deep relationships while traveling the world that would help him later in life.

In 1967, Srdjan was born in Subotica, former Yugoslavia. Srdjan originally studied math, but his interests shifted to architecture despite his professors’ dismay. But as he began his architecture program, tensions within Yugoslavia started to escalate rapidly. And after seeing many of his peers and professors drafted into the army or leaving the country overnight, he took to hiding in his friends’ apartments. Eventually, he evaded the draft by traveling to France and Latin America.

After returning home to complete his primary schooling, Srdjan sought to continue his post-graduate education in the United States. He assembled five architecture portfolios and sent them to American universities. Due to dysfunctional mail, his first four portfolio submissions heeded no results, so Mr. Jovanović Weiss asked a friend traveling to New York to mail Harvard University his fifth and final portfolio. Shortly thereafter, he received a call from the Chair of the Architecture Department at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and was attending classes in Cambridge, Massachusetts two weeks later.

Mr. Jovanović Weiss is the founder of the Normal Architecture Office (NAO) and the co-founder of School of Missing Studies – an experimental study of cities marked by abrupt transition. He lives in New York with his American-born wife and their five-year-old son.

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