Maggie O’Neill Fine Art


I have been fortunate enough to be able to collaborate with the very talented Warren Weixler on several projects now. Warren is the Founder and Creative Director of Design Operative a Washington, DC based creative design and fabrications firm that specializes in creating unique commercial space, furniture, and 3-dimensional products.  

From his work on Lincoln‘s Emancipation Proclamation wall to his recent work on Capitale’s columns, this man knocks it out of the park on every project and I am so happy to call him my friend and colleague!

1. What inspired you to get into this line of business?

My grandfather was a master carpenter.  I was drawn to the craft and attention to detail at a young age.  Being able to take a material and apply a skill set with our hands which results in something greater is very powerful.

2. Did you always know this is what you wanted to do?

I always enjoyed building things when I was a kid: Lincoln Logs, Legos, etc.  In high school I gravitated towards the art studio: fine art, photography, and sculpture.  After my first week of architecture school, I knew the design field was the path I was going to take.

3. What is your favorite project to date?

Each project I have done has its own allure.  There are things I enjoy about the entire process of design, fabrication, and installation.  If I had to choose, the digitally fabricated bookshelf we made for a Dupont Circle condo was a very important project for a number of reasons.  It was the first project we made that was of that sheer scale/size, it was very complex in shape/surface, and it was installed without any fasteners.

4.  What would your dream project be?

This is a loaded question because the answer has changed over the years.  I am very fortunate to have already designed some things that I have always dreamed of doing.  At this point, I am more interested in a collection vs a single project.  I want to create a budget friendly furniture line focused on quality and design that fills the gap in the market between the big box and high end retailers.

5.  What other people in your line of work inspire you?

There are quite a few people I work with on a daily basis that continually amaze me.  I rather not omit anyone on accident, so I will sum it up with this: I feel that customer service has gone out the window lately and I am not sure why.  It may be a reaction of companies to the economic market or people feeling that there is more competition to make a dollar.  Because of this, some companies may feel that it is more important to secure the job/work/commission instead of making sure the customer is happy.  The people that inspire me are the ones who defy this way of thinking and deem it unacceptable.  It boils down to ‘care of craft,’ if you as a person or company truly ‘care” then you have my vote.

6.  What advice do you have for other aspiring artists in your field?

CARE! It’s not about what you do or how you do it.  It is about WHY you do it.  Care about why you do it, and align yourself with like-minded people that share that passion.

See some of Design Operative’s past projects below!  To follow Design Operative on Facebook click here!


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