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Gae Aulenti

A true icon for all designers

Born in 1927 in Udine, Gae Aulenti trained between schools in Florence and Turin. After the war he moved to Milan to study at the Milan Polytechnic, graduating in 1953. At the beginning of his career he worked with the staff of "Casabella-Continuità" under the direction of Ernesto Nathan Rogers. Subsequently he participates in the Neo-Liberty movement in response to the trends of previous decades and the organic approach by another group of architects gravitating around Bruno Zevi. In this first period, Aulenti designed the Sgargul 1962 rocking chair for Poltronova, inspired by the rocking chair Thonet n. 1, made 100 years earlier; and the Locus Solus 1964 garden chairs.

Gae Aulenti an inspiration for all contemporary designers

Her interest in design leads her to collaborate with renowned companies, designing furnishing accessories that have become iconic, using different and innovative materials. The creations range from the April folding chair by Zanotta 1964 to the Jumbo marble table for Knoll 1965, to the 4794 chair in polyurethane for Kartell 1974, up to the table with wheels for Fontana Arte 1980, inspired by an industrial style now found in the collection at the MoMA . Aulenti dedicated himself to furnishing and interior renovations; this period leads her to collaborate with Olivetti, who renews the showroom in Paris in 1966-1967, taking care of both the architectural and design aspects with the famous Pipistrello lamp by Martinelli Luce. In 1972 he contributed to the exhibition "Italy: the new Domestic Landscape" by Emilio Ambasz at the MoMA in New York; giving rise to the notoriety of many Italian professionals. In the 70s he collaborated with Luca Ronconi and the Prato Theater Design Laboratory, creating the sets. In the 1980s he designed museum installations such as the Musée d'Orsay 1980-1986, the Musée National d'Art Moderne at the Center Pompidou 1982-1985 in Paris and the renovation of Palazzo Grassi in Venice 1985-1986. Redesigned Piazzale Cadorna in Milan 2000 and the renovation of the Palavela in Turin for the 2006 Winter Olympics