Gae Aulenti

Designer Dossier

Designer: Gae Aulenti, 1927 - 2012
From: Italy

Having just passed on November 1, Gae Aulenti is a woman worthy of retrospect. Her contributions to art and design will live on, including her transformations of old buildings into world-famous museums. Her post-war take on industrial and furniture design in glass and metal still feels modern, 30+ years later.

Facts:

• Aulenti started as an art director for design magazine, Casabella. She also taught at the Venice School of Architecture and the Milan School of Architecture.
• She collaborated with many renowned furniture producers, including Poltronova, Knoll, and Artemide.
• Her Tavolo Con Ruote is in the MoMA, and she was awarded first prize at the 1964 Milan Triennial for her piece in the Italian Pavilion.
• Aulenti designed many storefronts and showrooms, including some Adrienne Vittadini shops where she also designed the mannequins.

Quote: Advice to whoever asks me how to make a home is to not have anything, just a few shelves for books, some pillows to sit on. And then, to take a stand against the ephemeral, against passing trends... and to return to lasting values.

Attended: Milan Polytechnic University

Known for: Museum interiors, bold post-modern design in glass

Representative Pieces Shown Above: (left to right)

1) Musée d'Orsay interior, 1981-1986, via New York Times
2) April Folding Chair for Zanotta, 1964, via Unica Home
3) Pipistrello Table Lamp for Martinelli Luce, 1966, via 1st Dibs
4) "Means" armchair for Poltronova, 1967, via 1st Dibs
5) Tavolo Con Ruote, 1980, via 1st Dibs

Aulenti On the Web:

Wikipedia
Musée d'Orsay
New York Times
Design Dictionary
1st Dibs

(Images: as credited above)