Goodbye Gae Aulenti,


Portrait of Gae Aulenti

Gae Aulenti | 1927 - 2012


Whether wearing a hardhat on the construction site of a museum, holding a designer’s pen or participating in the latest theoretical debates, Gae Aulenti played an undeniably important role in shaping postwar Italian design culture.


Tour coffee table on wheels design by Gae Aulenti for Fontana Arte

Tour Table by Gae Aulenti for Fontana Arte


Born Gaetana Aulenti in Palazzolo dello Stella (Udine) in 1927, she graduated from Milan’s Polytechnic University in the early 1950s as one of only two women.  Starting out as part of the self-proclaimed Neo Liberty movement, she lent her eccentric eye to lamps for Martinelli Luce, furniture for Poltronova, Fontana Arte and Zanotta, and spaces for Fiat and Olivetti.  She is best known for her work designing, renovating and constructing museum spaces, with her most famous and controversial project being the transformation of an old train station into the Musée d’Orsay in the 1980s.


Musee d'Orsay designed by Italian Gae Aulenti

Musée d'Orsay designed by Gae Aulenti | Image by Edoardo Costa


Gae Aulenti passed away yesterday in Milan.  For all of us who are passionate about architecture and design, no matter what our aesthetics, Gae’s accomplishments and untiring work continue to be a great inspiration.

Gae Aulenti Pipistrello lamp design

Pipistrello Lamp for Martinelli Luce by Gae Aulenti