Gae Aulenti studied at Milan Polytechnic until 1954. From 1955 until 1965 she was editor of "Casabella" magazine. Between 1964 and 1969 Gae Aulenti taught architecture at Milan Polytechnic. Both an architect and a designer, Gae Aulenti is one of the very few women to have been successful in the international design scene.
As a designer, Gae Aulenti made her appearance on the fringes of the Neo-Liberty movement in the late 1950s. Gae Aulenti is the creator of numerous designer objects for Artemide, Kartell, Fontana, Arte, Knoll, Poltrona donna, Stilnovo, Tecno, and Zanotta. In 1964 Gae Aulenti designed "Solus 220", an armchair; for Martinelli Luce she designed "Pipistrello", a floor lamp, in 1967: both objects are now represented in the Museum of Modern Art collection in New York.
Gae Aulenti's designs are reticent and elegant and often very unusual. Her lamps are sculptures in space that are beautiful in form rather than lamps that merely emit light.
Gae Aulenti was acclaimed worldwide for her redesign of the Gare d'Orsay in Paris as the new home of the Musée d'Orsay (1980-86). Between 1982 and 1985 Gae Aulenti redesigned the exhibition rooms of the Centre Pompidou and in 1988 she was commissioned to remodel the Catalan Museum in Barcelona. Gae Aulenti also designed the showrooms for Olivetti and Knoll.
Finally, Gae Aulenti has created numerous stage sets for the director Luca Ronconi.