Born in Puerto Rico, Mónica Rivera earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1993 and a Bachelor of Architecture in 1994 from the Rhode Island School of Design, and a Master of Architecture with distinction in 1999 from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. She has lived in Barcelona since 1999, where she co-founded Emiliano López Mónica Rivera Arquitectos with her partner, Emiliano López.
Their work has earned an international reputation for carefully crafted works that understand architecture as a cultural and social endeavor deeply engaged with the environment. It has received numerous awards, including the Spanish Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism award, the Iberian-American Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism award, FAD Architecture Award, and the AR Emerging Architecture Award from the Architectural Review.
The firm’s projects have been published in Casabella, El Croquis, A+U Japan, Domus, Quaderns, Arquitectura Viva, and the Architectural Review, among many others, and have been exhibited in venues such as the Cité de l'Architecture & du Patrimoine in Paris (2009) and the Venice Architecture Biennale (2012). A book on their work, Domestic Thresholds, has been recently published in Switzerland by Quart Verlag.
Rivera began her role as chair of graduate architecture during the 2018-19 academic year, and previously served as a visiting professor and co-coordinator of the international housing studio of the Sam Fox School. She has also taught at the University of Texas in Austin, as the Eugene McDermott Centennial Visiting Professor, and at Elisava School of Design and Engineering in Barcelona.