Interviews & Essays -

Womaness Woman: Ayse Birsel

What does it mean to craft well-designed life as you grow older? This designer and author has answers.

By Womaness Editors     2-Minute Read

Ayse Birsel Womaness Woman

One of the world’s leading industrial designers, Ayse Birsel is nothing short of a force of nature. Not only can her work can be found in the permanent collection of New York City’s Museum of Modern Art, but Ayse (pronounced Eye-Shay) is on a worthwhile mission: improving 10 million lives through her movement Design the Life You Love.

By coaching individuals, entrepreneurs, corporations, and communities how to solve life’s problems using design, she's already helped thousands across the globe—earning her Fast Company's "Most Creative People in Business" title; the "#1 Coach for Life Design” by Marshall Goldsmith 100 Coaches; top-selling author status (her newest book, Design the LONG Life You Love, is just out); and, most fabulously, the nickname "Design Evangelista."

Today, she adds another title to the list: Womaness Woman. Read on to find out why.


First thing I do each morning 

I visualize a good moment, this can be from years ago or just from yesterday, that I am grateful for and relive it in as much detail as I can remember. I wake up anxious and this helps me reorient myself to start my day positively and with gratitude.”


Three things I always keep on my nightstand  

I have a big pile of books I haven't read but am meaning to read. I love eating something sweet in bed so I have candy. I also keep a to-do list and a pen so I can note stuff as it pops into my head at night and I know I will remember it in the morning.”


My go-to beauty hack or wellness ritual 

When I wake up, I wipe my face with a steaming hot towel, just like the ones they used to give out on airplanes.”


“I am not pausing on designing my life and teaching others how to design theirs. In fact, I am firing on all cylinders.”


My inner age (the age I really feel) and why

I am stuck on being 38. Probably because it was one of the happiest times in my life—I had met Bibi Seck, and our life together was unfolding to include children, working and living together, with a sense of adventure and discovery. So my internal clock has been set to it ever since.”


Advice I would give to my younger self

I wish I had been meditating and doing karate all my life so I would have said, 'Hey, young Ayse, learn these two skills now and you will thank me later.' I started doing both in midlife and one gives me peace of mind; the other gives me a warrior's mind.”


We don’t believe in “The Pause.” Tell us, what are you not pausing on? 

I am not pausing on designing my life and teaching others how to design theirs. In fact, I am firing on all cylinders.”


Word that best describes your Womaness

“My Womaness is Lovingness.”


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