About Michelle

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Michelle Wempe

Michelle is the heart and soul of zumaooh, working closely with clients to shape and articulate their vision for a project. Combining remarkable talent and insight with a practical, real-world approach to getting things done, she creates spaces for living and working that are just as functional as they are beautiful.

In Michelle’s early career, she worked with clients on commercial interiors projects ranging from small corporate headquarters to large law firms. Zumaooh’s work now extendsbeyond interiors to encompass complete environments for both working and living —often including site planning, building design, landscaping, and wayfinding. Under her direction, the firm has received awards from the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) and California Home & Design, and has been published in prestigious shelter magazines. 

In addition to an award-winning portfolio, Michelle has been recognized for her individual contributions to the profession. An advocate for design education, she is involved with organizations that promote and encourage excellence in the design professions. A graduate of the Interior Architecture & Product Design Program (IAPD) at Kansas State University, Michelle is an active member of the Dean’s Advisory Council and the IAPD Advisory Board. She has also served as a juror for design award programs including those for the IIDA Mid-Atlantic, Southwest, and Southern California Chapters. She has taught professional practice at the California College of the Arts, and she has been an active member of the IIDA Northern California Chapter, which recognized her in 2005 as its first Chapter Honoree, with a scholarship established in her name. 

On a broader basis, Michelle recognizes that our actions affect our environment and all living things, and she is an avid supporter of organizations that promote sustainability in its many forms. An accomplished cook, she is just as passionate about good food and wine as she is good design. On weekends, Michelle can be found first at a farmer’s market, then in the kitchen, and finally at the dining table that she designed, sharing delicious, seasonal bounty with friends.

Professional Appointments 

    California College of the Arts, Advisory Board Member

         International Board Member
         Juror for Chapter Design Competitions throughout organization

    IIDA-Northern California
         Board member
         VP of Student Members
         Honor Awards Founder + Chair
         Nominating Committee Chair
         Student Design Competition Chair
         Student Career Forum Board Member
         Leaders Breakfast Committee
         Pioneers in Design Committee

    Kansas State University
         College of Architecture, Planning & Design Dean’s Advisory Board
         Department of Interior Architecture & Product Design Advisory Board