Ayse Birsel, IDSA

Ayse Birsel, IDSA | Birsel + Seck

IDSA Northeast District VP 2016-2018
IDSA Board Education VP 2014-2016

Ayse Birsel, IDSA, has been designing award-winning products for more than 20 years. She is the co-founder of Birsel + Seck, an innovative design studio in New York City, that partners with leading brands and Fortune 500 companies including Target, Herman Miller, Hewlett Packard, Johnson & Johnson, Toyota and TOTO.

She's also consulted with or for GE, Hasbro, Drucker Institute, Harvard Business Review and Bridgestone Turkey, among others, on design thinking, strategy and innovation projects. She brings new solutions to old problems by thinking differently, using her user-centered, humanistic design approach and her unique process, Deconstruction:Reconstruction™. Birsel also is known for her acclaimed workshops, Design the Life You Love for individuals and Design the Work You Love for corporations, applying her design process to help people design their life and work. Now, her advice can be found in her first book, Design the Life you Love: A Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Meaningful Life.

Birsel is the recipient of a Young Designer Award from the Brooklyn Museum of Art; the Athena Award for Excellence in Furniture Design from Rhode Island School of Design; an IDSA International Design Excellence Award (IDEA) Gold; and an ID Magazine award. She has spoken at many conferences including those held by IDSA, Aspen Design, AIGA, Indaba and Design Management Institute. 

Birsel's writing has appeared in Inc magazine; and she's been hailed by Fast Company as one of the Most Creative People in Business in 2017.She chaired IDSA's Education Symposium 2015 and IDSA's Northeast District Design Conference 2017.

Birsel is a Fulbright Scholar; holds a master’s degree in industrial design from Pratt Institute; and is a graduate of Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. Her work can be found in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art; Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; and Philadelphia Museum of Art. She teaches Deconstruction:Reconstruction at the School of Visual Arts in New York CIty. Birsel lives between New York City and Istanbul.


Birsel + Seck
Co-founder + Designer

Olive 1:1 Inc.
President + Founder


"Drawing is really a language to me--my first language. As a child, I learned to draw around the same time I was learning to write. In terms of thinking, it's as much a form of expression to me as speaking or writing. Sketching allows me to organize my thoughts, the clearer my thoughts, the simpler the sketches become."

Excerpted from Sketchbook: Conceptual Drawings from the World's Most Influential Designers.