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Ayse Birsel was born in Turkey which is as she states A land of contrasts Birsels designs like her are filled with combinations of contrasting points of view Similar to Ayses homeland of Turkey where quite modern ideas and practices live side-by-side with centuries-old structures and customs her designs make everything work together in harmony She was born in the city near the port of Izmir which is the Turkish Smyrna a town which is more than two thousand years old Here she took in a Mediterranean cosmopolitanism Ayse studied industrial design at Middle Eastern Technical University in Ankara the capital of Turkey She was there from 1981 until 1985 From there she received a Fulbright scholarship which brought her to Pratt Institute in New York City where she worked for her Masters degree From Pratt she took away remembrances of great designers and professors named Bruce Hannah Rowena Reed and Peter Barna from whom she learned a no-nonsense view on design Ayse states a way of distilling problems solutions and forms to their essence These few words became her perspective toward the industrial design field Distilling problems breaking them down which can reveal the answer to a design problem This can be seen in her work she has done for Herman Miller Ayse being quite blunt with her speaking helped all who viewed her speech to realize how she fits into the design world Ayse told us very bluntly being and outsider is a big help Because Im ignorant of so many things I find it easy to collaborate with people who can teach me she says Her willingness to accept new ideas comes in handy in the world of design She feels designers benefit from being apart Also that being able to view from the outside she feels she has more of an advantage without the prejudice of being in America from day one of her design world With the
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