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What Inspires You? | Anne Thomsen, Architectural Job Captain

March 12th, 2020

Who wouldn’t develop a love of architecture when growing up in an octagonal home? For Anne Thomsen, job captain in Galloway’s architecture department, it was that influence and much more that provides her career inspiration. Against a backdrop of her “Brazilian Tuesday” Spotify playlist, Anne shared how her childhood in Brazil influenced her love of design, and what led her to the United States, as part of Galloway’s What Inspires You? series.

Anne as a young child with her mother in Brazil

Anne’s journey in architecture started early while growing up in Brasilia, the federal capital of Brazil, which is a planned city filled with modern architecture and uniquely artistic urban design. “Brasilia is one of the most interesting cities that I’ve ever spent time in,” says Anne. “It was definitely a large part of what inspired my interest in architecture.”

But even more influential was Anne’s mother, who is also an architect. Anne spent many hours drawing at her mother’s office, and she created her first floorplan by the time she was six. “She was a really big inspiration to me,” reflects Anne.

Their octagonal home was designed by Anne’s mother and consisted of eight triangular rooms that optimize the sun’s light as it travels around the house. Anne jokes that the home, under construction when she was a baby, was her first job site. “I didn’t know what it was like to live in a room with 90-degree angles until I moved to college,” laughs Anne.

While attending the Universidade Federal Do Rio Grande Do Sul in Porto Alegre, the same school her mother attended, Anne’s appreciation for design continued to grow. She was drawn to Brazilian architecture that utilizes many natural materials and seeks to incorporate outdoor elements and nature into its design. “They like to bring the outside to the inside of the building,” she explains.

Anne explaining how her heritage influenced her passion for architecture during Galloway’s “What Inspires You?” series

After working in Brazil for a number of years, Anne and her husband decided to move to Colorado, where she had first visited when she was eight. “I love to travel, meet other people, know other cultures – the world is so big, why not explore it?” says Anne. “Moving to another country has been the biggest adventure yet, but all this travel brings me inspiration as an architect.”

Anne’s strength is her vision for the project as a whole. “I like the big picture,” she says. She also loves the dynamic nature of her work and the variety that each day brings. In “this diverse world of architecture” she values the opportunity to learn from other architects on her team as well as from other disciplines within Galloway.

Ultimately, Anne loves that she is growing as a person and embracing her passions. “For me, my true inspiration is my family,” she says. “The most difficult part of coming to the U.S. was being so far away when I started my own family.” But while Anne doesn’t get home to Brazil as often as she would like, she still gets good visits with her family. “They come and stay for one or two months at a time!” she laughs.

Want to learn more about our architecture team and the projects they work on? Click here – or visit our Careers & Culture page to get more insight into Galloway and what inspires us.

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