Aino Aalto – originally Aino Marsio – was born in Helsinki, Finland in 1894. Like her husband Alvar Aalto, Aino was an architect and a designer. She attended Helsinki Polytechnic, where she received a degree in architecture, and became a certified architect in 1920. As a young woman, Aino began working for Alvar Aalto’s architecture office. Shortly after starting work at his firm, the two married. From that time forwards, they spent their lives working on various design projects together.
Aino Aalto was thought of as a pioneer of Finnish design in the international arena. She had a particular focus on both interior design and furniture items in her line of work, though she worked collaboratively with Alvar on many architecture projects as well. In 1932, Aino introduced her own line of glassware to the iittala brand, originally with the name Bölgeblick, which won the Gold Medal in the 1936 Milan Triennal. That glassware collection is still popular today, now referred to as the Aino Aalto collection. It features a design created to mimic the rings of water created by dropping a stone into it, and is one of Aino's most famed projects of her entire design career. Her strong, progressive, modern design ideas are still prominent today.