Architect-designer Sara Bernardi was born in Rome in 1979. She studied architecture at the Università degli Studi Roma Tre (or Roma Tre University) in Italy, ultimately earning her Master’s degree in 2004. In 2005, she moved to Porto, Portugal; she went on to earn another Master’s degree in spatial planning and urban projects from Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto (FAUP) in 2006.
After graduating, she worked for a number of international architectural companies in both Italy and China, including Graft (Beijng), IaN+ (Rome), and Fuksas Architects (Rome). While at Fuksas, she served as project manager on several prestigious projects, including Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport (China), Armani’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York (USA), and Benetton’s flagship store in Rome (Italy). She established her own design studio, MICROmacro, in Beijing in 2011. As of this writing, she lives and works between Beijing and Rome.
MICROmacro focuses on the relationship between architecture, design, and art, inspired both by a respect for local craftsmanship and Bernardi’s own global influences. According to the designer, “I attempt to blur the boundaries that divide the various aspects of creativity, aiming to create an exchange between disparate realities, and scales from MICRO to macro.” Notable design projects include Geometry Made Easy (2014), a collection of pendant lights inspired by basic geometric shapes; as well as Con-Tradition (2012), a minimalistic lighting and décor collection that explores the apparent contradiction between contemporary design aesthetics [Con-temporary] and antique Chinese design archetypes [-Tradition], such as the lantern, the folding screen, the altar table, and the tea table. The Con-Tradition collection juxtaposes materials more often found in the construction industry—steel and concrete—with the elegance of antique Chinese artistry.
The studio’s design collections and installations have been presented at several international events, including Beijing Design Week, Milan Design Week, Oriental Design Week, and Operae Independent Design Festival. MICROmacro has also been included in exhibitions at Today Art Museum (ARTchitecture: The Way We Design, Beijing, 2013), Chambers Fine Arts (CaoChangDi The Community, Beijing, 2012), as well as Liang Dian Design Center, where Bernardi presented her first solo exhibition (Con-Tradition - 木·化·石, Beijing, 2013).