Gae Aluenti, an Italian Architect and Furniture Designer died in her home in Milan Wednesday at the age of 84. I was first introduced to her Locus Solus Group (1968 produced by Zonatta) in 2008 in Patrick Lucas’ Interior Architecture 222 class. I remember that Gwen McKinney was our chaircard grader and marked my card wrong because I didn’t draw the group, only the single chair. I worked on the lines and began to appreciate her fluid approach to design. Don’t judge too heavily as I was only a first year design student with no art background.
Aluenti stated that architecture is a “concrete, untouchable entity that uses the city as its form generator”. She viewed the public and private spaces interaction as integral in the completion of her design without compromising the intended subject. The pinnacle design was completed in 1986, the renovation of a Paris train station into the Musée d’Orsay, a museum for french art from 1848-1915. In 1999, Herbert Muschamp, then the architecture critic for The Times, called her “the most important female architect since the beginning of time.”(gae-aulenti-musee-dorsay-architect-dies-at-84.html?smid=pl-share)