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Marquise Stillwell

Founder & Principal

With a practice spanning across two decades, Marquise Stillwell’s journey began with a curiosity for people and spaces that later developed into a passion for designing systems that make all environments better for everyone.

Holding an MBA and MA in Economics, Marquise was interested in social behavior and how humans negotiate space and value. Early on, he took on several corporate positions with an understanding that he would soon be executing his ideas independently. Working as an intrapreneur, he was able to leverage his talent to grasp the way these large ecosystems operate and how people work together.

In 2009, Marquise founded Openbox—a design research and planning studio based in New York City that works at the intersection of people, cities, and planet. Within Openbox, he later co-founded Opendox, a film company that tells lesser-known narratives around art, science, nature, and politics.

At Opendox, Marquise has executive produced films such as Shield and Spear, The Limestone Conflict, Marfa, and most recently The New Bauhaus. A creative entrepreneur, investor, and cultural ally, Marquise’s continuous focus is on making big ideas tangible for all people. He believes that we can help inform the future of cities by thinking about people first, and buildings and objects second.

Under this framework, he co-founded Deem Journal, a collaboration between Openbox and Room for Magic. For Marquise, Deem offers a way to ask better questions. Seeking to investigate a new horizon in the overlap of fine art and tech, Marquise co-founded Artmatr, an international community of artists and engineers working to merge digital technology with painting methods. Marquise believes that coastal resilience and climate change are social justice issues, leading him to co-found Urban Ocean Lab with Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Jean Flemma. Together they develop policy solutions for 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.

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