5 Questions with Ashley Thornberry, Graduate Architect

Axis Architecture Staff Profile

Meet Ashley Thornberry, Associate AIA and graduate architect at Axis Architecture + Interiors. Ashley has been with Axis since May 2015 and grew up in nearby Carmel, Ind. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Ball State University. Ashley loves working at Axis because it reminds her of being back in the studio at school, when you can collaborate at any moment, and everyone is given a voice on a project.

Ashley Thornberry


How would you describe your design style?

My style is a mix of minimalism and industrial. There is something elegant about simple, clean edges mixed with exposed building systems and materials.


What is the best career advice you have ever received? 

“Nothing good happens inside your comfort zone.”  This advice provided the encouragement and confidence to let me explore new ideas and ask as many questions as I can, all while learning something new.  It also makes each day exciting and different.


You’re looking for inspiration. What do you do? Who do you turn to?

I find inspiration through architects Glenn Murcutt, Louis Kahn, and Steven Holl. All three architects use interesting materials and design within the surrounding context. There are a few design magazines and blogs I follow for ideas on material use or graphical representation. I also enjoy listening to podcasts while I work, and sometimes inspiration comes from a random topic, or an idea from an interview. 


What do you enjoy doing in your free time?  

It’s a mix between experimenting with different hand lettering styles; relaxing with my husband and our dog, Anna; perfecting the best cup of coffee; playing volleyball in a rec league; and exploring craft breweries.


Are you affiliated with any professional organizations, and/or do you serve as a board member or volunteer for any organizations?

I serve on a few committees within the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Indiana, including serving as the Chair of the 2017 Indy Home Tour. I was recently elected as the Regional Associate Director for the AIA Ohio Valley Region. I also serve as an academic adviser to Phi Mu at Ball State University.