Born in Brooklyn, Laurie Beckerman graduated from New York University with a bachelor's degree in anthropology. She received a bachelor's degree in architecture from Pratt Institute, and, after graduation, designed low-income housing in Brooklyn and Harlem for the Pratt Architectural Collaborative. She also worked for Steven Holl Architects, and in the architectural setting-out shop at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. At the Cathedral, she drafted templates that were used by the stone carvers to create stones for the facade of the Jewish Museum. She spent every lunch hour in the stoneyard learning the craft of carving. Her passion and respect for material deepened, and her desire to become a furniture designer began when she carved her first table out of stone.