Born in Santa Monica, California, Terry Dwan was educated in structural engineering and architecture at Rice University in Houston and fine arts at SACI in Florence before receiving her Master of Architecture in 1984 from Yale University. Following a ‘Fulbright Scholarship’ in Rome, in 1986 Dwan became partner in Studio Citterio Dwan and in 1991 opened her own office in Milan. She has designed buildings in Switzerland, Japan, Germany and Italy and has participated in exhibitions in venues including Bordeaux, Tokyo, Milan and Osaka. The practice has won international awards and competitions for architectural design and while she is a US and Italian licensed architect, in 1996 she began work as a product designer, collaborating with companies such as Sawaya and Moroni, Electrolux and San Lorenzo. Some of her works are on display in the permanent collection of the Design Museum at the Triennale in Milan.
In 2003 she designed the Two Sides medallion for San Lorenzo. “I have summed up”, she said, “the idea of birth connected with the woman’s body and seed of procreation in an essential, primitive form that is all ours. “The shining, concave side of the silver recalls the act of drinking at a source of sparkling water. The opposite, enamelled side has the purity of white, the depth of darkness, the spirituality of turquoise, again recalling water as a vital element, and the force of red, the colour of blood”. Her medallion is almost a small shield to be worn over the heart and is a strong symbol hung on a fragile thread, like life itself.
photo: Yoshie Nishikawa