Cary Bernstein graduated from Dartmouth College in 1984 with a B.A. in Philosophy and Russian Literature.She received an M.Arch. from the Yale School of Architecture in 1988.

Cary started her practice in New York in 1991 and opened a San Francisco office in 1995. Professional work completed to date includes residential, commercial and health care projects in California, New York and Moscow, Russia. Cary has taught both the Russian language and jewelry fabrication at Dartmouth College, philosophy at Yale University and architectural design at U.C. Berkeley. She is currently an Adjunct Professor of Architecture at the California College of the Arts and serves as Program Chair for the SFMOMA A + D Forum. Cary is a member of the 1% Solution, providing a minimum of 1% of her firm's working hours to assist non-profit organizations with their design and planning needs.