Ayse Birsel on Design

From Noguchi to the human spine, Ayse Birsel talks about the inspiration behind furniture that helps people connect.
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What's In It For You

Product Story

Resolve fosters a more naturally human experience of work by enabling people to feel comfortable, valued, and connected in their workspaces. Its imaginative design—based on the 120-degree angle commonly found in nature—places people in calming environments where every element is designed around their needs and activities.

The open angle at the core of Resolve’s design creates an inviting work area, encourages interaction with colleagues, and gives even small spaces a spacious feel. Without the restriction of panels or walls, air and light can pass through the space, and people can see in and out. Screens and canopies balance this openness by providing enclosure and offering a sense of privacy.

Resolve System


The natural size, reach, and movements of people determined the 120-degree angle at the heart of Resolve’s structure. This purposeful design consideration means that the tools people need to work are always in reach, increasing efficiency and productivity. Resolve’s curved shape and openness encourages people to connect, while offering privacy for focused work without a feeling of confinement.

Resolve System


Resolve transforms workplaces into strategic tools for attracting and retaining employees, and for communicating an organization’s brand. The system’s unique aesthetic is a compelling addition to diverse office landscapes where people have a choice of supportive furnishings. Customizable screens and a thoughtfully curated palette of colors, materials, and finishes offers opportunities for expressing an organization’s identity.

Resolve System


Resolve helps organizations address economic concerns while attending to the needs of people—a critical balance that delivers greater performance and value to everyone. The system is quick to install and reconfigure, and easy and inexpensive to refresh. Its compact footprint occupies less space in the landscape than traditional solutions, but provides more opportunities for individuals to achieve a comfortable balance between focused work and interaction with others.

Design Story

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 Middle Eastern Technical University from 1981 to 1985. A Fulbright scholarship brought her to the Pratt Institute in New York for work on her Master’s degree. There she honed her design perspective—distilling problems to reveal novel answers. Such a perspective leads her to enjoy working with organizations that embrace change. As she puts it, “I’m not very good at giving new form to old answers.”

Birsel’s aptitude for originality was especially appealing to Herman Miller, who was looking for 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-centered design that brought comfort and connection to people in the workplace.