The Italian star architect and designer Aldo Rossi was born in Milan, Italy, in 1931. He graduated in architecture at the Politecnico di Milano in 1959.
Rossi is one of the big names in Postmodernism. He accomplished the unusual feat of achieving international recognition in three distinct areas: theory, drawing, and architecture.
His earliest works of the 1960s were mostly theoretical and displayed a simultaneous influence of 1920s Italian modernism (see Giuseppe Terragni), classicist influences of Viennese architect Adolf Loos, and the reflections of the painter Giorgio De Chirico.
In his writings Rossi criticized the lack of understanding of the city in current architectural practice. He argued that a city must be studied and valued as something constructed over time; of particular interest are urban artifacts that withstand the passage of time. Rossi held that the city remembers its past (our "collective memory"), and that we use that memory through monuments; that is, monuments give structure to the city.
He became extremely influential in the late 1970s and 1980s as his body of built work expanded and for his theories promoted in his books "The Architecture of the City" ("L'architettura della città", 1966) and "A Scientific Autobiography"("Autobiografia scientifica", 1981).
In 1990 Aldo Rossi became the first Italian to be awarded the prestigious Pritzker Prize for architecture.
Aldo Rossi died in a car accident in Milan in September 1997.