Céline Semaan has, for the past twenty years of her life, applied design, sociology, material science & accessibility in order to address compounding existential crises such as climate change and human injustices.
As an award-winning equity climate designer, she is the co-founder of Slow Factory where her work is focused on creating regenerative and reciprical systemic change.
As an artist, her work has been acquired and displayed in national museums de Young, MoMA and Cooper Hewitt.
As a writer, her first book “A Woman is a School” is published with Astra Publishing. She has written many essays, op-eds, and articles for publications including The Cut, Vogue, Elle Magazine, Teen Vogue, as well as white papers and reports with Slow Factory.
As an educator, her classes, curriculum and methodologies have been the precursor to applied climate-justice in academia and for various sectors including the fashion industry, waste industries, material science as well as through the Open Education platform she has championed.
As a public speaker represented by CAA.
“Colonialism is not a thing of the past, it’s an economic reality.” — Understanding Sustainability Means Talking About Colonialism, The Cut
“We are encouraging designers to use waste as a material,” she said. But she said she saw opportunity in other models, like design for disassembly, which involves breaking down unsold clothing to make new garments rather than burning them. Forcing the industry to use what it has, said Ms. Semaan, would give farming and fossil fuels a break. — The New York Times
Landfills as Musuems, created by Slow Factory in collaboration with Waste Management, takes designers and stakeholders to the landfill followed by a waste-led design workshop.
Slowhide, the latest material from Slow Factory Labs is a lab-grown, vertically farmed leather alternative growing from tea and coffee waste.
Slow Factory Labs re-envisions and re-designs regenerative systems which are good for the Earth, good for the People. Slowhide has been awarded a Fast Company Innovation by design award.
Climate Equity & Human Rights
Céline is a Lebanese-Canadian designer, writer, speaker, and advocate working at the intersection of environmental and social justice. She speaks four languages, is a designer, writer, educator, strategist and mother.
Céline Semaan is the founder of Slow Factory, a 501c3 an award-winning organization addressing the intersecting crises of climate justice and social inequity — filling the gap for climate adaptation and preparedness, building community power through open education, narrative change and regenerative design. As a part of this work, Slow Factory produces a conference series promoting sustainability literacy called Study Hall, the first science-driven incubator in fashion called One X One, as well as a material science lab focusing on waste to resource new materials.
Her works has received many awards: Slow Factory’s Open Edu has received an award from Harvard for innovation in education; Slow Factory Labs has been awarded a Fast Company Innovation by design award, funding from the JLL Foundation, and has been a finalist in many global design and innovation competitions.
Recently, Céline is building a climate institute focused on designing solutions addressing pollution reduction and accessible climate education.
An advocate in a range of fields, Céline is on the Council of Progressive International, has been a Director’s Fellow of MIT Media Lab, and served on the Board of Directors of AIGA NY, a nonprofit membership organization that helps cultivate the future of design in New York City.
Céline writes for New York Mag: The Cut, Elle, Refinery29, Huffington Post, among other publications. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, CNN, Vogue, Refinery29, Scientific American, Fast Company, Teen Vogue and many other outlets.
Céline lives in New York City.
Céline has conceptualized & created the following projects:
Céline is currently writing a memoire: A Woman is a School, Astra Publishing
Céline has coined the term Fashion Activism.
Corporate speaking include:
Fashion Institute of Technology
MIT Media Lab