Charlie Aufmann and Lauren Ruben


Experience Design Lead and Experience Researcher at Airbnb

San Francisco


Charlie and Lauren lead design and research for Airbnb Experiences, a marketplace providing travelers with unique activities created and hosted by locals all over the world. Inspired by Airbnb’s mission: “To help create a world where you can belong anywhere and where people can live a place, instead of just travelling to it,” the newly launched platform now enables visitors to live like locals.

Enabling a form of  transformational hospitality by empowering Airbnb hosts, Charlie and Lauren are both passionate about connecting new people, new ideas, and new environments.

For Charlie, design first evolved from a hobby into a career, and now into a new way of thinking. His goal is to create meaningful and memorable travel experiences that shape perspectives and worldviews by immersing oneself in new cultural contexts.

In a similar spirit, Lauren spends her time asking “why” to learn more about people and cultures. From exploring the worlds of traditional Chinese medicine practitioners to observing human behavior behind a screen, her research always intends to help solve problems in new ways.