(ANSAmed) - Milan, November 1 - Italian architect, designer
and teacher Gae Aulenti died late on Wednesday at her Milan
She was 85 years old and had been ill for some time.
Born in Palazzolo della Stella near the northern city of
Udine, Aulenti trained as an architect at Milan's Polytechnical
University graduating in 1959 and quickly became one of the few
well-recognized women working in Italian postwar design.
Her multi-faceted talent led her to work as a graphic
designer and editor for the Italian product-design magazine
Casabella Continuita and also to serve on the directorial board
of Lotus International magazine.
Like many of her contemporaries, she designed a series of
furniture throughout the 1960s for the high-end Italian
department store La Rinascente and went on to work with Zanotta
Two of her best-known pieces for Zanotta are the 1964
'April' stainless-steel folding chair made more functional with
a removable cover and the 1984 plate-glass 'Sanmarco' table.
Also in the 1960s she began to collaborate with Olivetti
business machines and Fiat automakers, designing showrooms,
exhibitions and trade stands.
Aulenti was much lauded for her work. In 1964 she was
awarded first prize at the Milan Triennial for her work in the
Italian Pavilion with a distinctly feminine feel inspired by
She began creating set designs in the 1970s and worked
from 1976-78 with the Prato Theater Design Workshop.
Aulenti's work in the 1980s shifted towards several
large-scale museum projects, including the layout of the Musee
d'Orsay in Paris for which she was named Chevalier of the Legion
d'Honneur by the French government.
She also designed the Contemporary Art Gallery at the
Centre Pompidou in Paris (1982-85), as well as the Palazzo
Grassi in Venice (1985-86), the Museum of Catalan Art in the
National Palace of Montejuic in Barcelona (1987), and renewed
the entrance to the Santa Maria Novella railway station in
Florence (1988-90). (ANSAmed).