Gae Aulenti was born in 1927 in Palazzolo dello Stella in the province of Udine.
She graduated at Politecnico di Milano in 1953 and since then she has been working in the fields of architectural design, urban planning, interior and industrial design, theatrical scenography.
Since the early years, her projects express the desire to link together multiple aspects of the architectural discipline. Numerous industrial design products were created to complete architectural projects. Among the most famous there are lamps "Pipistrello" and "King Sun" for the Olivetti Showrooms in Paris and Buenos Aires (1966-67) and, with Piero Castiglioni, the lamp "Bugia" for Musée d'Orsay (Paris, 1986) and "Cestello" for Palazzo Grassi (Venice, 1986).
Her most famous works include Museé d'Orsay in Paris (1986) and the installation of Musée National d'Art Moderne at the Centre Pompidou (1985); the renovation of Palazzo Grassi in Venice (1986); the new access to S. Maria Novella station in Florence (1990); the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco (2003), the Museum of Catalan Art in Barcelona (2004); the Italian Cultural Institute in Tokyo and Palavela in Turin, both inaugurated in 2005.
In 2012 Palazzo Branciforte in Palermo and the new San Francesco d'Assisi Airport in Perugia were completed.
Among the most important prizes and awards: Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur (Paris, 1987); Honourary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (1990); Praemium Imperiale for Architecture from The Japan Art Association (Tokyo, 1991); Cavaliere di Gran Croce (Rome, 1995); honorary degree from the Rhode Island School of Design (Providence, USA, 2001); Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement (Milan, 2012).