Maria Sieira was born in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, where she still teaches architecture in the summer program Compostela Architecture. She moved to the United States at age 14 and lived on the East Coast and in the Midwest before moving to New York City in 1999. She teaches at Pratt Institute; from 2007 to 2017 she coordinated the housing studio and history/theory in the graduate architecture department. She studied both architecture and theater as an undergraduate at Yale University, a pursuit that led to an interest in architecture narratives. At Pratt, she developed and taught a seminar on film and architecture (architects making space with moving images), with which she further explored this theme of architecture narratives. Other courses taught at Pratt include a seminar on installation art and all four core studios. She worked on the Cidade da Cultura, in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, while at Eisenman Architects and on the Philadelphia Airport while at DPK&A. She is a registered architect in New York State.