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Five Questions with Nathan Warner of Austin’s Warbach Design

How long have you been in Austin? What attracted you to Austin as a home for Warbach Design?

I’ve been in Austin full time now since 2011, but have been in and out of the city since the early 2000s. I was mainly attracted to Austin for its creative community and its laid back, quirky vibe. Even back then, the city was growing quickly, full of ingenuity, and supportive of local entrepreneurs. Overall, the city’s qualities lined up with what we were trying to do at Warbach—which made it a natural fit.

I believe Warbach adds an avenue where architecture and art not only merge, but uniquely coexist.

Tell us about Warbach Design. What makes your studio unique in terms of both its vision and practice?

Due to the scale of our work, we have been able to integrate our artistic practice within that of commercial and residential design. Everything, from design and engineering to fabrication and installation, is completed in-house and under direct Warbach supervision. This allows our team to execute on our vision to the highest standards, while maintaining involvement throughout the design and execution process.

Does the aesthetic of your projects differ when working with local Texas projects, compared to your global and national work?  

It most certainly did at first, but as the city [Austin] grew in prominence, it began to attract and incorporate global design aesthetics. Austin is a multi-cultural melting pot that brings together ideas and aesthetics from across the globe.

As a state, Texas has seen an exceptional amount of investment and development in a relatively short span of time. How has the city’s built, visual, and creative landscapes shifted as a result?

With massive amounts of people from all over the world moving here daily, each newcomer brings a part of who they are, leaving their own unique footprint on Texas’ design landscape.

Compared to Dallas and Houston, which have historically been larger, metropolitan centers, Austin has an outstanding history as a local community, with a strong and enduring identity.

Change is the constant here in Texas. We are a state with great pride and a strong sense of tradition.

Throughout this rapid development, how have you seen developers respond to, and preserve, Austin’s local design heritage? 

My experience working with developers here in Austin has been recognizing that while things are changing, we must incorporate aspects of Austin’s architectural and cultural heritage.

In many of the projects we’ve worked on, Warbach has been tasked with developing pieces that speak directly to site-specific historical and cultural locations within the city. Even before we begin the design process, a great deal of research goes into the conception of our projects. We enjoy keeping historic significance alive, and implementing this heritage into our designs.

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity. To learn more about Warbach Design, please visit their website.