Aino Aalto (born Aino Mandelin-Marsio, 1894-1949) was a pioneer of Finnish design. Born in Helsinki, Finland, she received her architecture degree in 1920 from Helsinki Polytechnic. In 1924, Aino joined famed Finnish architect Alvar Aalto’s firm. That step proved fateful for Aino both professionally and personally when she soon married Alvar, creating a lifelong partnership that built an international design legacy. The couple worked closely until Aino’s death, collaborating on several projects that have left a significant mark on global design.
Independently from her husband, Aino is also known for her own individual contributions which helped bring modern Finnish design to the international arena. Her architectural exhibitions for Artek received the Gran Prix at the 1936 Milan Triennial. Aino also won the gold medal at the same competition for her “Aalto Glasses” which were inspired by the circles created by throwing rocks in the water. Eighty years later, the versatile, stackable “Aino Aalto” glassware continues to be a timeless classic for Iittala. Aino Aalto also designed buildings, interiors, furniture and textiles.