As a designer of products from Target, Hasbro, Johnson & Johnson, Toyota and TOTO, Ayse Birsel worked her way to the very top.

Her newest collaboration with modern furniture design company, Herman Miller, has given us Overlay, a portable meeting room system to help divide open spaces and provide some privacy for meetings.

Overlay, Haven

Overlay, Haven created by Ayse Birsel. Photo/ Herman Miller

Born in the port city of Izmir, Turkey, Birsel was always surrounded by beautiful architecture and century-old structures. It was hard for her to not take inspiration from the dynamic blend of old-fashioned and modern design in her country.

Birsel studied industrial design at Middle Eastern Technical University in Ankara, the capital of Turkey. However, the score of a scholarship granted her to obtain a master’s degree from the Pratt Institute in New York.

Though she learned a lot about the straightforward and “no-nonsense” aspects of design from her colleagues, Birsel’s outsider perspective pushed her to learn all aspects of design—not just those from textbooks.

“I’m curious of so many things,” Birsel said. “I find it easy to collaborate with people who can teach me.” In Birsel’s opinion, it’s better if a designer is “detached,” so to speak. Then, the designer can fully observe from the outside without prejudice.


Resolve Station created by Ayse Birsel. Photo/ Herman Miller

Birsel’s passion for originality sparked something within Herman Miller. Because the workplace was quickly changing, Herman Miller needed something new and fresh—something independent but also very collaborative.

Birsel created the Resolve System, which allows people in the workplace to have their own space to work, as well as easily collaborate with coworkers. The aesthetically pleasing desk design brought comfort and connection. Everything was smooth sailing from there.

A genius in the eyes of all designers, Birsel continues to work on a variety of projects with all different kinds of companies. Additionally, she is a co-founder of Birsel + Seck, an award-winning design and innovation studio led by Ayse Birsel and Bibi Seck.

Want it in your workplace?

Five years ago Benco Dental, the nation’s largest privately owned dental distributor introduced Herman Miller furniture to the dental community.

In 90 seconds (below), get a glimpse into the philosophy that drives the inspired designs you can easily incorporate into your office with one call to your Friendly Benco Rep at 1.800.GOBENCO