Sarah Susanka Designs Her Dream Window For The myMarvin Project

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Architect and best-selling author creates window incorporating Not So Big hallmarks of beauty, simplicity, function and sustainability. Window is now available for order from Marvin Windows and Doors.

It is simple, yet elegant, but best of all it is energy efficient and capable of providing natural ventilation. A truly Not So Big solution for a not-so-small problem

If you could create your dream window, what would it look like? That is the question Marvin Windows and Doors asked Sarah Susanka as part of their myMarvin Project.

Susanka was given no rules for the design process, but was asked to rely on her creativity and personal inspiration. "My dream window has a very real purpose," explains Susanka. "I have a picture window in my house that cannot be opened. It forces me to turn on the air conditioning before it's needed in the rest of the house." The resulting window design is beautiful, functional and sustainable.

The design features two archetypal forms - a circle that frames the view is held within a surrounding square. The circle and square are joined at four points by square glass bevels, which create spectrum light patterns on the adjacent wall surfaces when the sun strikes them. The glass has a low emissive coating and the cherry wood has been sustainably harvested. To provide the needed ventilation capabilities, the window is designed to be a venting picture unit that pops out a couple of inches to allow for air flow. Susanka had previously seen this innovative functionality in one of Marvin's new product lines and knew it was the perfect solution for her dream window.

"It is simple, yet elegant, but best of all it is energy efficient and capable of providing natural ventilation. A truly Not So Big solution for a not-so-small problem," said Susanka.

Susanka's myMarvin window is now available for order. Print the CAD drawings available from the Susanka section of and bring them to a Marvin dealer to place an order. Customers can also create their own design based on Susanka's window.

The myMarvin Project
For her participation in the myMarvin project, Marvin Windows and Doors has made a donation in Susanka's name to Maria's Children International. The organization aims to create and support avenues for the forgotten children of the world by using the arts to help them grow into healthy, happy, contributing adults in their own societies.

The myMarvin Project celebrates the company's legacy of made-to-order craftsmanship with a built-around-you philosophy. Artists, designers and architects such as Susanka have been asked to
create an expression of their dream window in the medium of their choice. The design is then transformed into a real-life window, hand-built by skilled craftspeople at Marvin's manufacturing facility in Warroad, Minn.

Susanka's original artwork will be featured in the myMarvin print campaign, with ads running during the month of September in a selection of national magazines including Metropolitan Home, Dwell, Traditional Home and Renovation Style.
More information about Susanka's design, including a video about her inspiration and the process surrounding her design, is available at Visitors to the site can also view Susanka's original artwork and the real-life window that was created from her design.

The site also features the original designs, videos and resulting windows from this year's other myMarvin collaborators - graphic designer Milton Glaser, environmental designer Karim Rashid, photographer Mark Laita, and TV host and Garden Home designer P. Allen Smith. offers homeowners an array of tools and tips, both creative and practical, to help them bring their own visions to life. Visitors to the site will find:

  • An interactive room design tool that lets users try out a variety of room styles, furnishings,

accessories and windows.

  • Information on the latest trends in home design, art, architecture, fashion and more.
  • An offer for a complete remodeling planner kit to help bring order to the creative process when

planning your own remodeling.

  • Photos and information on Marvin products that can help bring your inspiration to life.

About Sarah Susanka, FAIA,
Susanka is a celebrated architect and the author of eight books that are helping to redefine the American home and lifestyle. Her "quality over quantity" approach to residential architecture has been embraced across the country and her Not So Big® philosophy has sparked an international dialogue. Her books have sold well over a million copies and include: The Not So Big House, Creating the Not So Big House, Not So Big Solutions for Your Home, Home By Design, Inside the Not So Big House, Outside the Not So Big House, The Not So Big Life and Not So Big Remodeling. Susanka is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects and a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council. She was born in Kent, England, and lives in North Carolina. Join her online community at

About Marvin Windows and Doors
Marvin Windows and Doors brings its Built Around You® philosophy to life with every customer and every solution. A premier manufacturer of made-to-order wood and clad wood windows and doors, Marvin offers the industry's most extensive selection of shapes, styles, sizes and options to fit the diverse needs of builders and match the personalities of homeowners. Marvin's tradition of delivering the finest craftsmanship in windows and doors began in Warroad, Minn., a small town just six miles from the Canadian border, where the privately-held, family-owned and operated company is still headquartered today.

Editor's Note: To arrange an interview or secure artwork of Susanka's original design, contact Suzanne Fedoruk at 612-861-7807, 612-247-3079.


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