José Serrano was born in Lisbon in 1960 and graduated in architecture at Gama Filho University in Rio de Janeiro (1977-1981).
After working for an architectural firm specialising in large commercial spaces for a few years in Brazil, José moved to New York to study at The Parsons School of Design “The New School” and work for a New York-based architecture and design firm, Designtech Associates, where he developed interior design work for companies such as McKinsey & Company, Helmsley Notes, and Fischer Brothers.
In 1991 he returned to Lisbon, invited by one of the leading architectural firms, Intergaup, to participate on the development of the new headquarters for the Bank of Portugal. He then collaborated with Intergaup for more than a decade as a project manager being responsible for major projects such as the 40,000m2 Macau Cultural Centre, a centre that included an Opera House, Theatre, and Museum.
In 2004 he joined the Lisbon-based architecture firm Graphos as a partner and started developing its interior design department. This was also the year that José Serrano designed SE04 for Haworth.