Lauren Celenza is an independent designer, speaker, and writer. Her work has been featured in Forbes, The Economic Times, and Quartz. As an international speaker, Lauren speaks on inclusive and equitable design and the barriers that the Internet simultaneously removes and creates.
Most recently, she worked as a Design Lead for Google and served as an initial member of the Alphabet Workers Union. During her time at Google, she traveled across six continents, working to make Google Maps–a tool used by one billion people every month–more inclusive for motorbikes, public transportation, and communities new to the Internet. Throughout the process, she sought to design with a research-driven, equity-seeking approach–from bridging the gap between big tech and local communities to finding ways to cede power to people with lived experience. This work resulted in mapping out millions of historically excluded addresses, businesses, landmarks, and routes across the world. Prior to Google, she designed for a number of tech startups, nonprofits, and civic organizations, including The Gates Foundation and Citizen Schools. She also co-published Tilting the Lens, a book that documented the preservation of Sham Shui Po, a historic neighborhood in Hong Kong.
Lauren grew up in Southwest Ohio during the decline of the manufacturing industry and the rise of the Internet. From her upbringing to her career in tech, she has witnessed the nuances of the Internet’s impact within the spheres of family, industry, and sociopolitics. In 2021, Lauren was a participating writer at the Tin House Summer Workshop and is writing a debut memoir that examines the role that technology plays in our societies and whether it’s possible to shift it towards a more inclusive and equitable direction.