Patricia Urquiola attended the Faculty of Architecture at the Madrid Polytechnic and Politecnico di Milano. After graduating in 1980, she started working for Maddalena De Padova's product development office, eventually being put in charge of it. From 1993 to 1996 she had an associate practice with the architects de Renzio and Ramerino and was engaged in architectural design, showrooms, restaurants and franchising. In 1996 she became head of the Lissoni Associati design group.
In 1998 she opened her own practice in Milan and continued to work in the field of design, exhibitions, art direction and architecture. In 2003 she was named Designer of the Year in the Elle Deco International Design Awards.