Creating Better Ways of Living with Christine Marvin


The Oasys house opens during the LA Design Festival and remains at ROW DTLA through the summer as a resource to homeowners interested in this new urban housing typology.

The size of this 800 sq ft fully-functional modern dwelling belies its potential as a long-term housing solution. MOCA+ sat down with Christine Marvin of Marvin Windows & Doors to explore how they are pursuing better ways of living for every architect, builder, designer, and homeowner.

MOCA+: Knowing you and Marvin for the past decade has given me insights about your company which I want to share and that is how Marvin views its place as a culturally relevant brand. Essentially, how partnering to solve the nationwide housing crisis is completely in line with your history as well as your mission and vision for Marvin.

Christine Marvin: We’ve always valued the importance and meaning of home, and what that looks and feels like for each and every homeowner we support. Everyone at Marvin is focused on helping our partners imagine and create better ways of living, whether that be through natural light, fresh air, indoor/outdoor connection, affordability or scalability. We are passionate about providing the broadest range of high-quality window and door solutions with limitless customization opportunities to help architects, builders and designers bring a homeowner’s vision to reality and to help make a home a home, no matter the size and scale.

MOCA+: This year’s Festival theme is Design with Purpose – tell us about how a family owned, century old company is employing design thinking to move your company forward, (create product for the future, live in the future).

Christine Marvin: Marvin’s purpose is to imagine and create better ways of living. This has been at the heart of our work since Marvin’s inception more than 100 years ago, and continues to drive us forward. As the needs of homeowners change and evolve – and as we spend more time indoors – we are constantly looking to new ways to innovate on the experience at home. How can we help a homeowner welcome more light into a space? Experience more fresh air? Mange noise pollution? Embrace the principles of biophilic design? When we put our user, the homeowner, at the center of our work, we can’t help but to design with purpose.

MOCA+: For myriad reasons, the way we live is changing – maximum living with a minimal footprint not just on a lot but on the planet. Tell us how bringing the outside in enhances the design of any space and in the case of ADUs, how well-planned and well-placed windows and doors have an impact on small space.

Christine Marvin: There is no question that light lifts a room and makes any room feel larger, more inviting, and happier.  My family and I live in the country, and lots of light shines inside our family room.  One morning, I found my son, who was 3 at the time, sitting in a sunbeam hitting the couch.  In his own words, he said… “mom, I feel so warm and happy in the sunshine.”  Last year, we had the opportunity to live on the West Coast for work and lived in a small square footage home.  It didn’t feel small given the natural light that poured in… it created a sense of life, comfort, and joy for us.

MOCA+: Marvin has chosen to work with notable designers for whom new building systems and sustainable products are elemental to good design. The recently completed Axiom Desert House in Palm Springs by Turkel Design, now this project with Alexis Rochas of Stereobot...Marvin goes beyond the traditional “show home” and partners for the long term with these designers. Tell us how you view those partnerships as a part of your overall strategy for Marvin.

Christine Marvin: Partnerships are essential to Marvin. Without customers, employees, and partners, the learnings, impact and advances that can be made are so limited. We learn one from another and love to co-design, co-create, and make a difference. From learning about emerging new ways of living, science, technology and design, and partnering with others to bring new solutions and experiences to life, we delight in the process and journey. We truly value partnerships personally, and personally, for Marvin and myself, it’s opened our world to new possibilities.  

Haily Zaki