Goodbye Gae Aulenti,
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.
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.
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.