Gae Aulenti (1927 – 2012) graduated from Milan Polytechnic in 1953 and started working in Milan designing architecture, interiors, industrial design, and theatrical design.  In the early 1980s, she was the artistic director at FontanaArte, creating timeless lamps and furnishing elements for the company that are still in production today – notably, the Giova lamp (1964), Tavolo con ruote table (1980), and Tour table (1993).  In addition to FontanaArte, Aulenti has created award-winning designs for Artemide, Exteta, Knoll, Martinelli Luce, and Zanotta.  Her architectural projects are numerous and notably include the Musée d‘Orsay (1980 – 86) and the Musée National d’Art Moderne at the Centre Pompidou (1982 – 85); the new Asian Art Museum in San Francisco (1996 – 2003); and the Catalan Museum of Art in Barcelona (1985 – 2004).  Aulenti has been the recipient of numerous industry awards and her work is included in the permanent collections of several museums worldwide.

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