VALERIA CARDOSO, founder
Architect (Brazil) Designer (US)
Exposure & Influences
For nearly twenty five years, Valeria has cultivated her expertise in the complementary fields of architecture, interior design, industrial design, branding, merchandising and visual identity, drawing inspiration from life abroad, extensive travel and cross-disciplinary collaborative work. Her worldly design perspective grew as her work exposed her to projects in cities around the globe including Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Vienna, Sao Paulo and Porto Alegre. Perhaps the most influential city of all, Valeria spent more than a year in Barcelona — living, working and developing her visual voice.
Valeria’s passion for design springs from a true empathy towards people’s essential needs, their values and motivations to a deep connection with the living environment. These, coupled with the practice of human-centered design methodologies and ancient architectural traditions, have inspired her to start her own design studio MADRE — an integrative practice of architecture and space design committed to design for wellbeing.
MADRE focuses on helping individuals and organizations that are instrumental in promoting positive change through space design, by building sensible environments that promote the most positive impact on daily life — spaces that are considerate to people, nature, history, place and time. MADRE’s holistic approach can be applied to a diverse range of projects, placing people and the environment at the center stage.
Design Strategy & Innovation
Prior to branching out on her own, Valeria spent five years at the multi-disciplinary global design firm IDEO, applying design thinking to an array of challenges, identifying opportunity areas for innovation and translating brand and design strategies into personalized design solutions. As a senior environment designer, strategist, project leader and mentor, Valeria has completed a diverse range of projects that proposed new systems and new models in retail, financial services, hospitality, healthcare, education and innovative workspaces for clients such as Bank Of America, First Solar, State Farm, Pearson, Equinox, Allen Edmonds, Cisco, Nemours Children’s Hospital, and Marriott Hotels and Resorts.
Valeria holds an Architecture and Urban Design degree from the UFRGS School of Architecture (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil) and has completed the Professional Feng Shui Program at the Golden Gate School of Feng Shui in Berlekey, CA.
Valeria has set her practice in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood and is married to industrial designer Joe Tan of Apple. Together they obsess about design while raising their children.