The boss sat at the back
Aino Marsio, born in Helsinki in 1894, received her degree in architecture from the Helsinki Polytechnic and began working for Alvar Aalto’s architecture office in 1924. Soon after, she married Alvar Aalto and, in addition to a new surname, gained a lifelong partner. The couple worked together closely until Aino’s death in 1949.
The significance of Aino Aalto's life's work is immeasurable; she has left her strong, unprejudiced and modern handprint in the fields of design and architecture. She is best known for the Bölgeblick glass series she designed in 1932, which today is in Iittala's collection under its designer's name. The design was inspired by circles created by a stone thrown in water and 80 years on, it still feels fresh.
“When she is mentioned, one always says: the legendary Aino Aalto. She is the most aesthetic person I have ever met.” Such was the description of Aino by a friend, Maire Gullichsen, in an interview in 1976. Aino Aalto was a pioneer of Finnish design in the international arena. Her exhibition architecture for Artek's stand at the Milan Triennal in 1936 was awarded the Grand Prix prize and at the same Triennal, her glass series won the gold medal. Aino Aalto also designed buildings, interiors, furniture, and textiles.