Team Member Q&A: Wimberly Barra

Wimberly Barra


Workplace Interiors Studio

Wimberly Barra is a registered interior designer and LEED Accredited Professional with more than 20 years of experience working both property management firms and corporate clients. She has been with Ziegler Cooper Architects since 2008. As Principal-in-Charge, Wimberly is responsible to the Client for the Project’s overall direction and control. This includes the review of planning, design and phasing; and coordination with Client’s project manager for program requirements, design presentations and general project administration.

WB: Landlord services- When times get tough, our landlord clients spend money on capital improvements and tenant amenities to attract new tenants. The difference between capital improvements a decade ago and capital improvements today is the strong focus on health and wellness.

Corporate Interior services- Attraction and retention of employees has become a serious concern with all businesses in this Post-COVID economy. Corporations are listening to their employees and refocusing their design efforts on health/wellness and work schedule flexibility over high-density work environments and planning efficiency.

Q: When working with a new client or new space, what part of the process do you enjoy most?

WB: Getting to know the people is the best part. I like getting to know everyone involved personally and learning about their business and their priorities. Learning about them personally helps me understand better what they bring with them to the conversation and helps me combine all the input cooperatively and deliver a space where the people can achieve the company’s goals.

Q: What advice would you give to future leaders in the industry from what you have learned over the years?

WB: Listen and deliver. The most important characteristic of success in this business is humility. That starts with listening to your clients and asking good questions to make sure that the complete scope of the project is understood by all the members of the team. Establishing a clear scope of work and then delivering on that scope is the best way to establish a good reputation among your clients, colleagues and competitors. Unfortunately, when things don’t go exactly to plan (which is at some level inevitable), the result is much worse if the initial expectations were not clear and everyone involved was not approaching the project cooperatively as a member of the team.

Q: What has been your biggest achievement?

WB: Personally or professionally? I’ll do both.

Personally, my biggest achievement is my family. Surviving (almost) 3 baby boys, marrying a childish but wonderful man, creating a home by figuring it out as we went is the most important thing I’ve ever done or will ever do.

Professionally, I would say that becoming the youngest female principal in ZC history is probably my biggest achievement. Moving into such a big role at such a young age, I had to learn how to be a leader to those around me. It has been amazing to see the growth of my team and being a mentor to those who are fresh in the industry and starting their career.


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