Paola Bonacina was born in Meda, a town 25 miles north of Milan, Italy. She earned her doctorate in architecture from Milan Polytechnic University in 1982. She began practicing architecture and design by working in the design department of her father’s business, BBB Bonacina, a well-known industrial design furniture brand. During this period she had the unique opportunity to work closely with some notable Italian designers, including Castiglioni, DePas, Lomazzi, and Sottsass Jr. Before coming to the U.S., she taught interior design and technical drawing at the Accademia Arti Applicate in Milan while also working as an associate architect at Mercandino and Associates in the same city. Later she became art director of Arka Furniture, overseeing the design and production of new furniture. She has been operating her own design firm in San Diego since 1995. Her practice emphasizes contemporary style, with additional expertise in residential and furniture design. She currently resides in Solana Beach. Paola Bonacina is an architect licensed in Italy and a residential designer in California.