The architecture from its actors

Step1. To meet an architect


Gae Aulenti was born in December 1927, Palazzolo dello Stella and died in 2012 in Milan, Italy. She was one of the most influential architects and designers of the post-war period who lent her fluid approach to media and material to some of the most important architectural and interior designs of the late 20th century. Aulenti attended Politecnico di Milano in the mid 1950s and established her design practice in the same city shortly after graduation.

As early as the 1960s, her iconic creations played a vital role in Italy’s global dominance within the field of product design.  The Italian designer gained international renown for her transformation of a Parisian train station into the Musée d’Orsay (1980–1986). But although Aulenti realized over 700 projects, she is relatively unknown outside her native Italy. She rose to prominence while serving as the art director for Casabella, a leading avant-garde architectural journal of the era. It was during these early years that Aulenti’s unique design philosophy emerged, one that centered on the ultimate freedom of the designer from the limitations of practice to a singular medium. Rather than selecting one style and imposing it upon a space, Gae Aulenti believed instead that the space and its inhabitants should inform the design around them.  What resulted was a body of work that spanned all realms. From smaller furnishings designs to her larger architectural projects later in the century, Aulenti defined her style as one that was untethered to a specific aesthetic or method. This novelty resulted in her rapid creative recognition and success, a point echoed in the bevy of international exhibitions that showcased her work between the 1960s and 1970s.
In 2012, Gae Aulenti received the Gold Medal of the Triennale di Milano for her artistic career in recognition of her position as one of the masters of Italian design.

«Advice to whoever asks me how to make a home is to not have anything, just a few shelves for books, some pillows to sit on. And then, to take a stand against the ephemeral, against passing trends…and to return to lasting values.» – Aulenti to Vogue

With this quote Gae Aulenti expresses her unconventional idea of Architecture, deducible as well from her personality. In fact she’s always refused standards both in private life and job. We can also notice that from the fact that she preferred to develop her career rather than look for an husband, like everyone, included her family, told her. She experimented her works through different styles but with the main idea that the people in a room create the room itself. In her view it’s only thanks to the people that a place can have an atmosphere and be something. For this reason she says that we don’t need too many things in a home to get a home. According to her way of think and work it is necessary to discover values to create something that could be appreciated. This is the reason why her style has often be defined humble.


Zanotta. Gae Aulenti. Arquitecta, diseñadora industrial, de interiores y escenógrafa. Recovered from

Casati (2016). Gae Aulenti. Italian designer and architect. Recovered from

Fontana Arte. Gae Aulenti. Recovered from

Step2. Reading and comprehension of a text and reflections

Campo Baeza’s introduction gives the reader great reasons to study Architecture. He also warns us about the difficulties this career could bring, telling that the most important is to do things in the best way we can, even slowly but better. He talks about Architecture as the capability of building dreams: an architect can build what he dreamt and make people dream thanks to what he built. In this way he is able to make his dreams come true and turn them in a better reality for everyone. That’s amazing! He wonders about the inner meaning of this profession and he figures out that it can have features of different professions but with something more special. Being an architect is not a job like any other but requires to be done with effort, passion and love that can be transmitted. As an architect and an Architecture teacher, he believes that it’s the best job of the world. But to be an architect you must have a strong vocation because it’s something you have to feel in the bottom of your heart. This means that you can improve through the years but you should be motivated and into this career from the very beginning. Of course you will learn with practice and effort, but it’s necessary for you to have something in your soul to create gorgeous thing that will move people. He gives tips to not waste time and take advantages, for example drawing everything you see or taking pictures, a useful exercise to learn how light affect the spacial perception. People may not believe that but being an architect implies rational thinking and reflection, indeed he suggest to read a lot, to think a lot and to write a lot too. It’s very important to never give up and keep training every day and at the end you will see your goals certainly. He also reminds us to never lose excitement. Even though he’s not speaking in order to persuade anyone to start studying Architecture, the passion of his words may convince even the less interested person. This is not only a job but also a lifestyle that is hard but it’s worth.