An aptitude for originality
Born in the port city of Izmir, Turkey, a town more than 2,000 years old, Ayse Birsel absorbed a Mediterranean cosmopolitanism growing up.
She studied industrial design at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara from 1981 to 1985. A Fulbright scholarship brought her to the Pratt Institute in New York where she gained her master’s degree. It was here that she honed her approach to design: distilling problems to reveal novel solutions. Such a perspective leads her to enjoy working with organisations that embrace change. “I’m not very good at giving new form to old answers.”
Birsel’s aptitude for originality was especially appealing to Herman Miller, which required a completely new system to meet the needs of a changing workforce and workplace. Her solution, Resolve, was like nothing the world of work had seen before — an aesthetically unique, human-centred design that brought comfort and connection to people in the workplace.