Ayse Birsel Speaker

Ayse Birsel

Award-winning designer, co-founder of Birsel + Seck and author of Design the Life You Love

Ayse Birsel: Biography highlights

The co-founder and Creative Director of Birsel + Seck, Ayse Birsel designs award-winning products and systems with Fortune 100 and 500 companies, including Amazon, Colgate-Palmolive, Herman Miller, GE, IKEA, Philips, Staples, and Toyota. She is the author of Design the Life You Love, a guide that teaches how to create a meaningful life using design processes.

Known for:

Business Leaders

Based in:

North America

Languages spoken:


Full biography of Ayse Birsel

Identified by Fast Company as one of the world’s most creative people and by Thinkers50 as one of 30 management thinkers most likely to shape the future of organizations, Ayse Birsel is the co-founder and Creative Director of Birsel + Seck, a design and innovation studio.

Ayse Birsel keynote speaker

A charming and creative speaker, Birsel delivers informative, entertaining lectures that completely change audiences’ attitudes towards their career, work process and lifestyle. She teaches people that if they have the drive to consider their lives from a new point of view, think about it proactively and change it creatively, then they have the materials to design the life they love.

Awards and accolades

Birsel is the recipient of numerous awards, including IDEA (Industrial Design Excellence Awards) Gold Awards, Best of NeoCon Gold Awards, the Young Designers Award from the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Athena Award for Excellence in Furniture Design from the Rhode Island School of Design. She was named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in 2017 and was chosen as one of the Marshall Goldsmith 100 Coaches in 2016. She is a TEDx speaker and her work can be found in the permanent collections of the MoMA, Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She also writes a weekly article on innovation for Inc.

Further information

Born in Izmir, Turkey, Birsel came to the US to attend the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, on a Fulbright Scholarship. Since then she has called New York her home and currently lives there with her husband and partner, Bibi Seck, and their three children, who continue to inspire her life’s design.



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Watch Ayse in action

1/6 videos
Ayse Birsel
Ayse Birsel
Design Your Life
Design Your Life
Ayse Birsel Lecture
Ayse Birsel Lecture
If your life is your biggest project, why not design it? | Ayse Birsel | TEDxCannes
If your life is your biggest project, why not design it? | Ayse Birsel | TEDxCannes
Design the Life You Love by Ayse Birsel
Design the Life You Love by Ayse Birsel
Ayse Birsel on designing a meaningful future for yourself
Ayse Birsel on designing a meaningful future for yourself

Design the Life You Love is a recipe for happiness and fulfillment. Ayse has architected an experience that will turn you upside down, shake out your pockets, then invite you to reassemble yourself into a new and more satisfying order. It is the opportunity of a lifetime, to examine what is truly important to you and to craft a life that puts you on the path to achieving it. And Ayse does this all with great charm, creativity and skill. Bravo!'

Chris Marcell Murchison
Vice President, Staff Development & Culture
Shelf Awareness

'Ayse Birsel's warm, affirming tone convinces readers that a deeply fulfilling life is possible. . . Design the Life You Love would be the perfect gift for anyone in a rut, at a crossroads or about to embark on a new career path.'

Herman Miller

'Ayse Birsel has a unique gift for making the complex simple and the simple beautiful. This book will help you to a better life and unleash your hidden creative talent.'

Brian Walker
President and CEO
School of Visual Arts

'If you want to stoke someone's imagination, give them a picture book. If you want to feed their intellect, give them a book of literature. But if you want to fuel their future, give them this book. Design the Life You Love is an invitation to prioritize what's important in your life-to literally put it down on paper through four simple but ingenious steps-and emerge with a kind of personal mission statement that will give you clarity, power, and purpose.'

Allan Chochinov
Chair of the MFA Products of Design Program
GEO Business Innovations

'yse Birsel's talent as a designer and her unique worldview collide perfectly in Design The Life You Love. For anyone who is looking for an imaginative yet logical way to think through life's challenges, this is for you. Learn how to shift your perspectives with design-thinking, and be inspired by her illustrations along the way.'

Beth Comstock

'Ayse led a Design the Life You Love lecture at our annual sales meeting. I had hoped that it would provide an introduction to design thinking to our associates...It accomplished that, but it also did so much more. We laughed, we cried (no real tears but many profound and emotional insights), we danced, we bonded, we shared, we learned-it was a powerful and inspiring journey and Ayse is a delightful guide. I can't wait to do it again!'

Susan Lyons
Museum of Modern Art

'Ayse Birsel is a designer who knows how to find elegant solutions for complex issues not only with products, but also with everybody's search for serenity, inspiration, and fulfillment in life.'

Paola Antonelli
Senior Curator of Architecture & Design
Design Within Reach

'Ayse Birsel has designed furniture, office systems, cookware and even a toilet seat. Taking what she's learned from product design, she has developed a fun, playful approach to designing a life you love. Who else but a designer could give you the tools you need to examine your life and make it the best it can be?'

John Edelman
and recipient of the National Design Award for design thinking

'Remember when people used to tell each other impatiently to 'Get a life!'? Well, with this engaging book, Ayse Birsel provides a well-wrought strategy for doing precisely that. In the process, readers gain some precious insights into what design is and what designers do.'

Ralph Caplan
Author, By Design
Sagmeister & Walsh

'Ayse Birsel's book costs very little money, takes almost no time to go through and may have a gigantic impact on your life. This is good design: a tiny investment featuring enormous possibilities.'

Stefan Sagmeister

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