about Gae Aulenti

GAE AULENTI (born 1927)

Gae Aulenti was born in Palazzolo dello Stella, Italy, on December 4th, 1927. Apart from Eileen Grey from Ireland, Charlotte Perriand from France and Ray Eames from the USA, Gae Aulenti from Italy is one the very few women who were and are globally successful and respected in the international design scene.  

Gae Aulenti studied architecture at the Polytechnic in Milan and graduated there in 1954. In the following years Gae Aulenti worked as an independent designer in Milan. For ten years, from 1955 until 1965, Aulenti worked as an editor for the magazine “Casablanca“ and in1964 she also started to work as a lecturer at her former university.

During her time as a designer Gae Aulenti designed lots of objects for renowned manufacturers: Artemide, Knoll, Fontana Arte, Kartell, Poltrona Frau, Zanotta, Tecno and Stilnovo.

Gae Aulenti has a very broad and diversified design spectrum: In addition to lamps and furniture she also designs consumer goods like toasters, mixers and so on; but all of her designs are dominated by a pure and simple elegance. Especially for her table designs Aulenti works a lot with glass. Nevertheless, almost all of Gae Aulenti´s designs show a certain humor and a merry playfulness: tables are surprisingly equipped with bicycle tires used as legs and many of the lamps are so playful that they are rather perceived as elegant spatial sculptures than as simple light sources.

Today Gae Aulenti´s armchair ”Solus 220“ from 1964 and the standard lamp ”Pipistrello“ from 1967 are displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Gae Aulenti also gained appreciation and respect for her work as an architect and stage designer: here particularly noteworthy are the decoration of the showrooms at the „Centre Pompidou“ from 1982 to 1985 and numerous stage settings designed for the producer Luca Ronconi.  

To the present Gae Aulenti delights us with her designs.