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Knoll Designer Bios

Ayse Birsel

b. Turkey, 1964

Ayse Birsel’s career began in the capital of her native Turkey at the Middle Eastern Technical University in Ankara. A Fulbright Scholarship brought her to New York, where she earned her master’s at Pratt Institute. A self-admitted eternal student, Birsel flourishes in collaboration. She has worked with many of the top furniture design companies worldwide, and examples of her work are in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art and The Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum.

Birsel collaborated with veteran Knoll designer Bruce Hannah to develop a new line of office accessories as part of KnollExtra’s launch in 1990. The result of this collaboration, the Orchestra Collection, epitomizes the simplicity and practicality that govern the work of both designers.

In 2002, Birsel founded Birsel + Seck with fellow designer Bibi Seck. Constantly challenging existing solutions and exploring alternative answers, the firm has worked with Hewlett Packard, Target and Renault.