Patricia Urquiola began training as a student in architecture at Faculdad de Arquitectura de Madri before graduating in design from Politecnico di Milano in 1989, where she studied under Achille Castiglione.
In 1991, as head of the product development team at De Padova, Urquiola designed her first commercial furniture pieces (in collaboration with Vico Magistretti). They were highly imaginative yet functionally pragmatic, an appealing combination that has defined her work since.
From 1993 to 1996, Urquiola owned a studio with two friends, accepting commissions in architecture, interiors, showrooms, and restaurants. From 1996 to 2000 she managed the design group Lissoni Associati, then opened her own studio in Milan, focusing on product design, displays, and architecture.