Love Life

Designer Ayse Birsel

Designer Ayse Birsel

Ayse Birsel is a designer, a Turkish designer. In tandem with her Senegalese husband, Bibi Seck, she runs award winning studio Birsel + Seck. They've created products for Hermann Miller, Target, Hasbro and Johnson & Johnson and were among the designers featured in Patricia Moroso's colorful and celebrated M'Afrique salon at the 2009 Milan furniture fair. In May last year they participated in Headspace, a symposium on scent sponsored by SEED Magazine, Parsons and MoMA.

Birsel + Seck's trademark design process is an innovation tool they call Deconstruction + Reconstruction--break stuff down, let it get messy, put it back together again, even better than you found it. Ayse has road-tested Deconstruction + Reconstruction not only in her work, but also in her life, and she is using it as the framework for a workshop, Design the Life you Love, to teach others to stir things up, give their perspective a good shake, move things forward.

The workshop is offered by The Academi of Life, an organization founded by Shirley Moulton to provoke conversation and thinking about what she calls "life's large questions". Last spring I met Shirley after attending an Academi event, a conversation with Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi and author of Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands.

Shirley is spirited, ambitious, passionate, challenging and playful. I liked her right away. The theme of love--of self, others, and life--weaves its way through all that she does, so this class is a natural fit in a curriculum that also includes events with speakers such as Peter Buffet, Elizabeth Gilbert and Jill Bolte Taylor.

Linda Tischler, Senior Editor of Fast Company, attended the first offering of the workshop back in November and wrote her take on the course here. It sounds fun--and Ayse does too, which also makes sense, knowing Shirley.

On Saturday, February 26 the workshop runs for a second time. It is hosted by SVA's Design Criticism program. Registration information is here (click on Classes). Make sure to notice the Academi's witty logo, incorporating a heart--and designed by Ayse.