Rohit Raj Mehndiratta is an architect and the co-founder of Studio VanRO, an independent and multidisciplinary design and research organisation based in New Delhi that works in the domain of architecture, urbanism, and art. He graduated from School of Architecture CEPT, Ahmedabad, India with a distinction in his thesis and received a SMArchS (Masters of Science in Architecture Studies) degree in Architecture and Urbanism from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T) in 2002 . Among other accolades, he received the Merit Recognition Award for the years 2000-01 and 2001-02 in M.I.T. He has also received the Ann M Beha Award 2001, the J N Tata Endowment Scholarship 2000,the American Alumni Award 2000, and the Piroj Shah Godrej Scholarship 2000.
His professional work experience includes an initial training in India from Arcop Associates and Sachdev Eggleston Associates in Delhi and BV Doshi in Ahmedabad. His international exposure started with CA Ventin Associates, Toronto, Canada and Frei Otto’s Institute for Light Weight Structure in Stuttgart, Germany. He went on to work for 5 years in New York City with Davis Brody Bond (DBB) and Elizabeth Kennedy Landscape Architects (EKLA). In DBB he worked on some very prestigious projects, namely, The World Trade Center Memorial, New York and Nicolas Grimshaw’s Experimental Media and Performance Arts Center in RPI, Troy, NY State. While with Elizabeth Kennedy Landscape Architects (EKLA). he worked as a project architect and design consultant on the Harlem Stage Gate House project and an interpretive landscape project at the site of the first free African American quarters in Weeksville, Brooklyn, NY. Weeksville won the 2006 Arts Commission Award for Excellence in Design and the Harlem Stage Gate House project won the 2008 Lucy G Moses Preservation Award from the New York Landmarks Conservancy.
While in America he was invited to studio juries in MIT, NJIT and Pratt. Since 2007, he has taught in the Urban Design Program of SPA (School of Planning and Architecture), New Delhi and is currently Visiting Faculty at the Sushant School of Architecture. His academic and research interests in the domain of visual urban representations and politics of urban development have led to a photographic exhibition called ‘Placed Settings’ in New York, paper presentations in a number of international conferences and a published paper in Sarai Reader, 2009. He has recently co-edited a monograph titled “The Structure: Works of Mahendra Raj” published by Park Books, Zurich. Rohit has been a part of expert panel committees on Public Arts initiatives at the Delhi Urban Art Commission and UTTIPEC’s MRTS Corridor Development sub group formed by the Ministry of Urban Development, Delhi Division.