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. She won a Fulbright Scholarship in Rome to study cemetery architecture and in 1986 Dwan became partner in Studio Citterio Dwan collaborating on residential and commercial projects as well as retail and showrooms in Europe.
Both a US and Italian licensed architect, she opened her own office in 1991 in Milan dedicated mainly to architecture and interior design in Switzerland, Japan, Germany and Italy and has won prizes and international competitions. She has participated in exhibitions in venues including Bordeaux, Tokyo, Osaka and Milan. In 1996 she began to develop design projects, working with companies like Sawaya and Moroni, Riva1920,DRIADE, Electrolux and San Lorenzo. As professor of architecture at Studio Arts Center International from 1997 to 2005, she has lectured extensively from New Haven to Bogotá.
The project activity in recent years deals with both the architectural sector (private residences, exhibition design and interior) as well as the design sector (collections of furniture, porcelain, silver), and some of her designs are on display in the permanent collection of the Design Museum at the Triennale in Milan. From 2004 to 2009 she led the art direction for the firm Riva1920, and her collaboration with Driade begins in 2010 with the study of the sofas collections Borgos and Bedda.