Life: Your Most Important Design Project
“My mission is to design the life I love,” Ayse Birsel, a cofounder of design house Birsel + Seck and its chief Deconstruction:
Reconstruction officer, once stated, years ago at a Women Presidents’ Organization meeting. Now, Ayse harks back to this statement in her Design the Life You Love workshops and really delves into what it means, so she can help others do the same.
A product designer by training, Ayse has become a cross-discipline design leader, thinker, and teacher. “I wanted to share how I think with other people,” she says. She calls the Design the Life You Love workshop “an intersection of my process and my life.”
Design the Life You Love is a methodology at its core. Part soul-searching and part practical application, the workshop asks participants to “think like a designer” when considering what a life they love would look like. According to Ayse, this means thinking optimistically, empathically, holistically, and collaboratively, with an openness that designers possess when trying to solve a problem. In addition, she emphasizes playfulness as a key theme of the entire process. There are no mistakes—only insights and thoughts, which could lead to solutions.
In 2010, Ayse taught her first workshop. In it, she made use of the Deconstruction:Reconstruction (De:Re) process that guides her work, and she still asks her students to use it today. De:Re means breaking down something, analyzing its parts, and then putting it back together. Through this seemingly simple process, you can start to look at the familiar in a different light.