Michelle Wempe

FacStaff Name
Professor of Practice
Interior Architecture & Product Design

1111 Seaton Hall
920 N Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
Manhattan, KS 66506
T: (785) 532-5992

mwempe@ksu.edu | Curriculum Vitae

Michelle Wempe received her Bachelor of Interior Architecture from Kansas State University in 1984. Throughout her professional career, she has maintained strong connections to KSU, serving as a now-emeritus member of the Dean’s Advisory Council and the IAPD Advisory Board.

As an advocate for design education, Michelle taught professional practice in the Interior Architecture Department at California College of the Arts and has been actively involved with organizations that promote and encourage excellence in the design professions, including service as a juror for design-awards programs in IIDA chapters across the country. She has also been an active member of the IIDA Northern California Chapter, which in 2005 recognized her as its first Chapter Honoree with a scholarship established in her name.

A native Kansan, Michelle has lived and worked in Denver, Washington DC, Southern California, and the San Francisco Bay Area. While working as a designer, she gained experience with and appreciation for the technical side of design, as well as management of teams, projects, and clients. She also built an understanding of the business of design, serving as a Studio Director and then Director of Operations with two highly respected firms in SF. In addition, Michelle has been a Consulting Principal with Talentstar, Inc., focused on talent, leadership, and organizational strategies for prominent design firms in the A+D realm.

As the founder of zumaooh™, Michelle is its heart and soul, helping clients achieve their visions with ‘exuberant restraint.’ She has been able to focus on the creation of classic, contemporary living and working environments, while providing exceptional services throughout the design and build process. She has built the firm with a broad perspective of what constitutes design, creating buildings and interiors, with all of the finishing touches including decoration, art, and custom furniture pieces, and working closely with consultants and contractors to ensure that the details are as well thought-out as the original concept.

Michelle has a deep, current understanding of contemporary practice and the impact that design has on people every day. Evidenced by her own award-winning design portfolio, Michelle combines remarkable talent and insight with a practical, real-world approach to getting things done, creating spaces for living and working that are just as functional as they are beautiful. In addition to a rigorous approach to design and technical issues, she has focused on making positive contributions to sustainability and environmental issues, looking for innovative materials and technologies that provide unique solutions for their clients, as well as enhancing the environments that they are designing.