Fifteenth Anniversary Q&A with Partner Mary Bartlett

As the leader of Marmon Mok’s interior architecture practice, Mary Bartlett’s expertise encompasses new construction, renovation, and adaptive reuse. With more than 30 years of experience, she has designed over 5 million square feet of interior space for all types of organizations. A Texas registered architect and interior designer, she serves as a specialized project manager on high-profile projects while also leading a team of designers focusing on the art of interior design, workplace strategy, programming, FFE selection, and art coordination. Mary is also responsible for looking for new design talent and current design staff development. In honor of her 15th anniversary, we recently sat down with Mary to reflect on her experience and what is to come in the future.

Q: Since joining Marmon Mok, how do you think the firm has evolved its spectrum of services, especially from an interior’s point of view?

A: As an Architect and Interior Designer, I approach our services from an integrated point of view and push our teams to do the same.

Tobin Center

Q: A big part of your job is understanding and managing client expectations. What do you see as new client needs across market sectors now when compared to those of 10-15 years ago?

A: Discussing sustainability is now a part of every project. A decade ago, we were educating our clients on this topic and now clients are already knowledgeable.  It is integrated into our design process and just routine for us. The other issue is security and safety in buildings is now a higher priority than ever.

Q: Where and how do you find everyday inspiration for your craft?

A: Everywhere! I follow many random sites on Social Media, Artists, Architecture, Interior Design, Fashion, and color trends. I love to travel, see art galleries, museums and parks and observe how people move through the spaces. 

One Frost - Westover Hills

Q: What do you see for the future of workplace design?

A: As we are coming off the pandemic (hopefully), I think we will see a return to the office, but with a hybrid model.  The office will become a place to collaborate, socialize and meet with others.  Technology will continue to evolve. The influence of residential design and wellness will continue to be a part of the workplace.

Q: What are the top 3 projects you have worked on that you are most proud of?

A: Only three?  The TXDOT Stassney Campus project is almost complete, so that is on my mind right now.  We had a really good time with the “Roadtrip Across Texas” theme.  Working with the leadership team at Frost Bank was great because of the value they put on their employees. The Tobin Center was inspiring because it was such a challenging project and the people of San Antonio have embraced it.  The San Antonio Convention Center Expansion because we had a great team and client and it is exciting to work at that scale.

Henry B Gonzalez

Q: Given the state of the industry, what are some of the biggest design challenges and solutions you have focused on from an interior perspective?

A: The challenges right now are technology evolutions that are happening at a more rapid pace, the heightened demand for safer environments, and being mindful of all the generations that will be using the spaces.

Q: What piece of advice would you give your younger self back when you were breaking into the A/E/C industry?

A: I think I would tell myself not to worry so much and to keep doing what you love to do and focus on your strengths.

Mart Bartlett Job Site