Ayse Birsel, IDSA

Ayse Birsel, IDSA
Co-founder of Birsel + Seck

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 Converse, GE, Herman Miller, Nissan, Tiffany&Co. and Staples.

Birsel brings new solutions to old problems by thinking differently—with 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. Her book is being translated into Turkish, Russian, Chinese and Spanish.

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 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. She is once again chairing the IDSA/Eastman Innovation Lab Education Symposium.

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 Products of Design graduate school in the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Birsel lives between New York City and Istanbul.

Statement of Candidacy
Since I was elected VP of Education in 2014, I have experienced tremendous learning and growth. The last two years have been amazing—working with the IDSA Board, putting together a great IDSA/Eastman Innovation Lab Education Symposium and serving as a strong voice for design education and the design profession. My goal for the 2015 Education Symposium was to broaden our perspective around education to include not only design education but also design of education,  as well as STEAM, corporate design education and layman’s education in design. Keynoted by Don Norman, PhD, IDSA, the Education Symposium became an intellectual bridge to the International Conference in Seattle. This year in Detroit, we’re creating a similar program that includes some of the best papers in education around the topic of Making Design Education Happen, together with speakers from education in the broader sense. We’d love to receive your paper here.

This year I am running as the Northeast DVP nominee for several reasons. First, selfishly, for the privilege of continuing to work with our Chair John Barratt, IDSA, and the stellar Board members who’ve become friends and collaborators, and with our Executive Director Daniel Martinage and his very hard-working team whom I have come to know well.

Secondly, to use my experience and network to serve the NE District by striving to bring schools and businesses closer by working together rather than in silos. And thirdly, to build on everything I have learned about putting together the national Education Symposium, to create a great Northeast District Design Conference in 2017. I feel I have graduated from novice to someone who deeply appreciates and values the privilege of being a part of IDSA. I hope you will give me the chance to serve you in the role of Northeast DVP.