Founder + Principal
Marquise Stillwell is a designer and a catalyst for building communities and products across design, art, and culture. His career spans across two decades, and his curiosity for people and spaces developed into a passion for designing systems to make environments better for all people. In 2009, Marquise founded Openbox. Within Openbox, he later co-founded Opendox, a film company that tells lesser-known narratives around art, science, nature, and politics. Marquise has executive produced films such as Shield and Spear, The Limestone Conflict, Marfa, and most recently The New Bauhaus. He has also co-founded Deem Journal, a biannual print journal and online platform focused on design as social practice, and Urban Ocean Lab, a think tank for the future of coastal cities. Most recently, he acquired Stae, a go-to open-source data hub that allows people to visualize and leverage open city data in a meaningful way. Additionally, Marquise serves as a board member for the Center for Architecture and on advisory boards for Creative Capital and Riverkeeper. He is also a member of the High Line Advisory Committee, a fellow at Urban Design Forum, and was a Founding Board Member and Co-Chair at The Lowline, the first underground park.
What did you do before Openbox?
Openbox has always been a part of me. Openbox is actually an extension of all the things I've been thinking about and building since I started my career.
What do you like about the work you do?
I love people, and I love building community. I’m passionate about creating spaces that acknowledge our shared humanity, but that also value our differences. And I’m interested in how we might use culture—art, music, activism, design—as catalyst to bring us all together.
What does inclusivity mean to you?
Inclusivity is respecting differences and finding common alignments that allow people the space to be who they are while always welcoming new points of view. Ultimately, inclusivity makes us all smarter and stronger.
When do you feel most like yourself?
Everyday, everywhere, with everyone.
I spend a lot of time thinking about...
How to encourage Openbox and the organizations we work with to be more cultural-centric and culture-aware.