Alvar Aalto was a Finnish architect and designer working in furniture, textiles, and glassware. Unlike most architects, his style was very transitional, from Nordic Classicism to pure modernism to organic modernism. His move to modernism may have been influenced by close relationships with individuals like Lazlo Maholy-Nagy and Le Corbusier. Aalto liked to take control of all aspects of a design project, not only designing the building, but the furniture, textiles, and furnishings as well. It wasn’t until the mid-1930s that Aalto received world recognition. In the U.S., his reputation grew following the positive reception of his Finnish pavilion for the 1939 World’s Fair, which another architect on our list, Frank Lloyd Wright, called “a work of genius.” Throughout his career, Aalto designed a wide range of work from civic planning to painting—designing over 500 buildings (including Finlandia Hall and the Paimio Sanatorium, both in Finland) spanning five countries, and won the AIA Gold Medal for architecture.