Gae Aulenti (1927-) was born in Udine in Italy and became the most important female postwar designer in Italy. She trained as an Architect at the Milan Polytechnic, graduating in 1959. from 1960-62 she taught at the Venice School of Architecture, and then moved on to teach at the Milan School of Architecture. Throughout the 1960s she designed furniture for the Department store La Rinascentre, whilst in 1964 she was awarded a prize at the Milan Triennial for her work on the Italian Pavilion.
She graduated to a seat on the Board of the Triennial from 1977-80. She had a long and rewarding relationship with Zanotta for whom she designed furniture such as the `April` folding chair and `SanMarco` table.In the 1970s Aulenti began creating set designs and she worked from 1976-78 with the Prato Theater Design Workshop. Her work in the 1980s included several large-scale museum projects. For her work on the Musée d`Orsay in Paris (1980-86) she was awarded Chevalier of the Légion d`Honneur by the French government. She also designed the Contemporary Art Gallery at the Centre Pompidou in Paris (1982-85), the Palazzo Grassi in Venice (1985-86) and the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco (2000-2003).