Images from left to right: Ayse Birsel. Rocking Chair, Moroso M’Afrique Collection, made in Senegal, West Africa, in collaboration with local craft people. Design: Birsel + Seck.
Ayse Birsel is a Turkish-born, award-winning product designer, Fulbright scholar, deconstruction/reconstruction thinker, and Design the Life You Love workshop expert. As coprincipal of Birsel + Seck in New York, she partners with industry leaders such as Hasbro, Herman Miller, Hewlett Packard, Johnson & Johnson, Moroso, OfficeMax, and Target.
Simplicity, empathy, and sustainability are central to Birsel’s work. So is designing systems in which a few purposeful pieces form rich and adaptable solutions. She has created Deconstruction and Reconstruction™ (De/Re), a creative toolbox for companies and decision makers who have the courage to break existing preconceptions to imagine a better and different future.
In tandem with her consulting work, and believing our biggest projects are our lives, Birsel originated the Design the Life You Love workshops to inspire persons to think about life with originality and creativity using design tools.
Together with her husband and partner, Bibi Seck, Birsel designs and produces products in West Africa to prove that good design is an incredible commercial asset that fosters growth and sales, brings employment and recognition, and nurtures good design practices even for the smallest operations in developing countries.
Birsel has received numerous design awards, including the IDEA Gold Award, I.D. magazine’s Excellence Award, and the Chicago Athenaeum Good Design Award. She is a Cooper Hewitt Museum’s National Design Awards finalist as well as the recipient of Brooklyn Museum of Art’s 2001 Young Designer Award and Rhode Island School of Design’s Athena Award for Excellence in Furniture Design.
Birsel’s work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art and Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in New York. She is a graduate of the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, and holds a master’s degree from Pratt Institute.