Introducing Will Rivera

Will_LR_BWAB design studio is pleased to introduce Will Rivera, a Senior Project Designer who joined our Santa Barbara office in 2021 and has become a valuable member of our residential design team.

Will is a veteran architect with decades of experience designing houses, hotels and much much more. He also brings special experience with digital visualization tools: the new world of virtual reality and renderings that allow clients to experience the designs they’ve commissioned long before ground is broken on a project.

In the late 1990s, Will worked in the entertainment industry. You might say his past design clients have included Captain Kirk and Captain Picard of the USS Enterprise, because Will helped create some of the 3D models used in special effects for Star Trek TV shows and movies including The Next Generation, Voyager and Generations. Will also helped in creating the Mayan City for the animated feature film "El Dorado - City of Gold" for DreamWorks SKG.

Star Trek 2-1[Image credit: Star Trek - Generations - Paramount Pictures]

After completing this, his final computer animation project, he returned to his original passion for architecture. Will collaborated with our talented team members, utilizing his exceptional 3D modeling skills, to breathe life into two of our innovative conceptual projects. Their remarkable work was showcased in a special section of Architect Magazine, which you can explore by clicking on this link.

Lou Dillon (Zoomed In)Artboard 2[Image credit: Hacienda de Santa Barbara - AB design studio, inc.]

Architecture is his first love and Will returned to the profession 22 years ago. Residential design is perhaps his favorite. “You’re designing something custom for people, because everybody has a unique lifestyle,” he says. “You have to understand the way they live and what they like. And you get to closely know these people along the way. I love the fact that I can help them realize their dreams. That gives me a lot of joy.” 

Fairway #2 - Ty Warner Residence[Image credit: Private Residence, Montecito, CA - Thomas Bollay Architects]

Will believes he has come full-circle: in his career, his creative pursuits, and even in family life. An enthusiastic hang glider pilot, Will likes to think of the sport as a metaphor for life: a series of air currents you can follow and, if you learn to manipulate the craft, you can stay aloft for hours. “You’re leaping off the cliff or mountain, but instead of falling, you experience total freedom,” he says. “There's a really beautiful thing about flying and not having to follow any road or any path. You just find the thermals and circle up and try to find a next thermal and circle up.” Living fully in the moment, totally engaged in the flow – no fear.

Hang Gliding in Santa Barbara-1[Image credit: Hang gliding over Santa Barbara - Will Rivera - GoPro]

Will was raised in Santa Barbara, “where we are surrounded by beautiful architecture everywhere,” he says. Working in the building industry ran in the family. Will’s dad was a civil engineer, and his grandfather back in Colombia was an architect who developed his own projects. Spending a summer in Colombia at age 12 and accompanying his grandfather, “I was really amazed. Everywhere we went, everybody knew him and everybody was really respectful to him,” Will remembers. “And I thought, ‘Wow, he’s so cool.’”


[Image credit: Architecture - a family lineage. Will's grandfather circa 1974, Colombia]

Will is backed up by the support of our talented and experienced architecture, interior design and urban planning team of professionals. Our 30 person staff is well-equipped to tackle a multitude of signature design driven projects of all sizes and typology. Our team develops well-rounded and thoughtful solutions to today's greatest design challenges. We deliver by leveraging the talent of awesome people, like Will, who deliver our proven process each day; we deliver using a simple formula -   LISTEN | STRATEGIZE | CREATE | DELIVER.



Selected Works


Selected Works


Selected Works