Design lore has it that the Italian designer Gae Aulenti (1927-2012) was inspired to design this famous coffee table, officially called Tavolo con Ruote, in the warehouse of the Italian lighting firm Fontana Arte. There heavy goods were transported on wooden pallets with heavy industrial wheels and Aulenti had the vision to replace the wood with a thick sheet of bevelled glass. The black painted bolts securing the rubber wheels are visible and a key part of the look. In doing so she created a table that in the 1980s was a byword for industrial chic, a piece of furniture just right for loft living or those who aspired to that cool sensibility. The table is a tiny part of her legacy. As an architect she transformed the Musee d'Orsay in Paris – although her wire mesh partitions and heavy stone internal walls were controversial at the time: the French newspaper Libération, compared the museum to "a funeral hall, to a tomb, to a mausoleum, to an Egyptian burial monument, to a necropolis". Aulenti didn't care – pointing to the long lines of visitors queuing to get into the Musee d'Orsay as soon as it opened in 1986. She worked on a vast range of projects, from showrooms for Gianni Agnelli of Fiat to sets for La Scala as well as industrial, graphic and interior design. A pioneer of post-war Italian design, she was fiercely individualistic, always swimming against the tide. Interviewed by a fashion magazine, she said "The moment it's announced that red is in fashion, I want to dress in green". In 2012 she was commemorated in Milan – where she had studied architecture – with a square named in her honour, the Piazza Gae Aulenti, designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli. The coffee table – which is only about shin-level high – is the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.