“Lella Vignelli, a Designer With a Spare, Elegant Style, Dies at 82” wrote The New York Times a couple of days ago. The digital magazine Quartz summarizes in a few words the story of the famous couple, Lella and Massimo Vignelli, and their difficult battle against the flow: “A legendary husband-and-wife design team fought to get her equal credit for 40 years.”
To remember Lella, we decided to re-publish our article about Designed by: Lella Vignelli—a book of love that her husband Massimo edited in 2013, just few weeks before passing away. The book is a compendium of Lella’s contributions to design.
Born out of a conversation with Massimo, our longtime friend, the article was entitled “The Realist and the Dreamer,” where “The Realist” was Lella—not his muse, but his wife and life-long professional partner. Massimo wanted the book to be an inspiration to all women, and circulated it free on the Internet.
“For years,” Massimo wrote in his introduction, “the collaboration between female architects and designers and their partners has been under-appreciated …” And, he maintained, Lella had always been the hard rock behind his dreams: “consistent throughout her career; unfailingly intelligent; rigorous, not arbitrary; timeless, not trendy.”