I'll never forget the pleasure of studying industrial design under Ayse Birsel, who was the first to tell us wide-eyed students that design is about more than the academics of it. "Part of your homework," she said, "is to take long walks through the city, go out with your friends, go to parties, see new things, and enjoy life." In later years I also had the pleasure of freelancing out of her then-studio on Broadway, which I remember as always being filled with sunlight and music.
Birsel is one of the featured designers in Herman Miller's awesome "Why Design" video series, and her entry, titled "Your Life is Your Most Important Project," reminded me of this. The tone of the series is similar to Birsel's philosophy in that it gets the thoughts of important designers on life both inside and outside of the studio. But we'll have to wait for a bit to see Ayse's; the series, which features interviews with a new designer every Monday, kicks off today with Yves Behar's equally great "Surfing is like improvisational jazz." Enjoy:
Below is the trailer for the entire series, giving you a tease of the designers to come.
We'll be back with more next Monday!