Thoughtbarn is an architectural practice in Austin, TX, committed to using design as a tool for conjuring new possibilities.  Our work spans from housing and workplaces, to retail and hospitality, to civic spaces and public art.  

Across all projects we seek to craft spaces full of character, informed by a spirit of invention, a clarity of purpose and a robust social and environmental ethic.  

We do our best work in collaboration with clients who value thoughtful design at multiple scales - from neighborhood context to material assemblies to how the details come together. 


Our name suggests the way in which we work, combining robust conceptual ideas with a research-oriented lens and a craft-focused sensibility.  

The practice has experimented with numerous working models in addition to playing a traditional architect role, including design/build, public art installations, joint ventures, arts-based community engagement and digital fabrication consulting.  

These reflect our interest in expanding the agency of architects and make us a valuable partner in a wide range of contexts. 


THOUGHTBARN has been fortunate to partner with forward-thinking entrepreneurs, municipalities and civic organizations in Austin, across Texas and beyond, including the following:

[Civic/Municipal]  Waller Creek Conservancy, YMCA Austin, City of Austin, The Thinkery, Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center, Fusebox Festival, Art Alliance Austin,  The Contemporary, City of Tacoma, City of Arlington, Philadelphia Mural Arts, Grand Center Arts District.

[Commercial ] Endeavor Real Estate Group, Bunkhouse Group, The Citizenry, Guerilla Suit, Giant Noise, Pennybacker Capital, Pegalo Properties, Emergence Realty, Lincoln Ventures, Big Bend Brewing, KPG Hospitality.


Our collaborations with Delineate Studio focus on speculative commercial projects in Austin that are responsive to the unique character and context of the city's central neighborhoods.  

The partnership joins the complimentary skill-sets and experience of the two companies and expands our collective resources to meet the demands of larger-scale projects.


The first project that Robert and Lucy collaborated on was a 2003 screened porch addition to a mobile home in west Alabama, as part of Auburn University’s Rural Studio Outreach Program. 

Robert founded THOUGHTBARN in 2007, after attending graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin. The practice started as a vehicle to experiment with furniture, structures, and installation on limited budgets.  Lucy joined the practice in 2010. 

The office has grown in size and the scale of our work since the early days, but our ethos is still rooted in the resourceful, hands-on approach of those early projects.



2901 EAST 2ND STREET AUSTIN, TX, 78702  

Office phone: 512.386.1579

Office email: INFO@THOUGHTBARN.COM (for project and press inquiries)

Employment Inquiries: 

Our studio is located in East Austin.  Visits to the studio are by appointment only, please contact us prior to visiting. Thank you. 



Robert Gay / Co Director / Founder /

Orginally from Cusseta, Alabama / M.Arch from University of Texas at Austin (2005) and B.Arch from Auburn University (2000). 

Robert founded Thoughtbarn in 2007.  His diverse design and building experience focuses on material experimentation, building systems and refined details. He has an intuitive design sense, a sophisticated understanding of construction processes, and exacting quality control standards, making him an invaluable leader through all phases of a project.  

He worked previously in the offices of Baldridge Architects in Austin, Adjaye Associates in London and Roth + Sheppard in Denver, and was a lead research member for the Plastics in Architecture project conducted by current Kieran Timberlake Research Group director Bille Faircloth.  He was also a founding partner of BBIITT (Building Integrating Technology), a digital fabrication consultancy that collaborated with other design firms to create products, furniture and small scale works.  

Robert has taught graduate and undergraduate studios at the University of Texas School of Architecture and is a regular visiting critic.

Lucy Begg, AIA / Co Director / Architect /

Originally from London, England / M.Arch from UC Berkeley (2007), B.Arch from Cambridge University, UK (2001) / Rural Studio Outreach Program (2003)

Lucy joined Thoughtbarn as Co-Director in 2010 and is a licensed architect in the state of Texas. A skilled communicator and organizer, she has a passion for delivering project excellence within complex urban settings and in partnership with diverse stakeholder groups. 

Her background includes work for Austin architecture firms KRDB and Pollen Architecture, and London firms Simon Conder Associates and Eldridge Smerin Architects.  One of her key interests is in the fusing of design practice with public-interest and advocacy work. She attended the Outreach Program in at Auburn University's renowned Rural Studio in Alabama and was awarded the Branner Travelling Fellowship from UC Berkeley, which enabled her to spend a year working with architects around the globe innovating with participatory design methods. She has also has a Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Management and was involved in the start-up of the Austin-based housing non-profit Design Build Alliance.

She is currently a member of the Publications Committee of Texas Architect magazine, a board member of local non-profit Civic Arts and a regular visiting critic at the University of Texas, Austin.

Texas State license #26395

Team Members

ANDREI KLYPIN / Senior Designer /

Originally from Moscow, Russia / BArch from University of Texas at Austin. 

Andrei has been helping Thoughtbarn make easy projects 'complicated' since 2011.  He is an avid cyclist with a tremendous skillset for mathematics, scripting, and dialing in the details of difficult technical projects.   

Anna McConnall / Architect /

Originally from South Carolina /  BA in Architecture from Clemson University / MArch from University of Texas at Austin.

Anna’s design work has taken her from Barcelona to Brooklyn. Outside of her own exploration, she loves hearing about architecture and cities from the perspective of others and has helped organize community mapping projects around Austin. Anna has worked in the New York offices of ARO and has a passion for community mapping research and its potential for collaborative environments.  Licensed to practice Architecture in the state of Texas #28083

Megan Marvin, AIA, LEED / Architect /

Originally from Austin, Texas / BArch from University of Texas at Austin 

Megan was born and raised in Austin in the shadow of the LBJ Wildflower Center (which she didn't see enough of because she was busy trying to become an Olympic gymnast). She lived in NYC for 7 years where she excelled in optimizing small spaces both personally and professionally. Megan continues to weave movement, ecology, and economy into all she creates. 

Licensed to practice Architecture in the state of Texas and New York.

ADRIAN REYNA / Adrian Reyna /

Originally from Dallas, Texas.  / BArch from Texas Tech University / MArch from Texas Tech University

Land Arts of the American West Field Program Participant

Adrian has spent much of his time in the American West exploring landmarks, geographical icons and learning about the significance of the architecture on the land it inhabits.  Throughout this time, he gained a love for hiking and camping. He has worked on various fabrication and construction projects ranging from the design of a support vehicle for overlanding to robotic fabrication in metals and wood furniture refurbishment. Adrian, in and outside of architecture values the smaller details of things and the focus in all of his design work is tailored to that interest.

Tricia Torley / Studio Assistant /

A Jersey girl born + living in Texas / B.A. in Film (2012) Full Sail University, M.F.A. in Creative Writing (2014) Full Sail University

Tricia joins the team as a studio assistant, and is a storyteller at heart. Delighted to be working with designers who tell their clients' tales through reimagined spaces and inventive creations utilizing calculated details, she aims to be a valued assist by matching this team's thoughtful consideration and seemingly-effortless momentum. Outside of the office, Tricia can be found basking near water or dancing somewhere dive-y.

Past Team Members

John Algood, Will Fox, Julio Reyes, Laine Hardy, Kaziah Haviland, Kyle Norman, Margaret Saunders, Brian Carville, Shane Riley, Kate Nichols, Katrina Repman, Brett Blackmon, Jimmy Rittenberry, Conner Finn, Davis Richardson, Nick Schnitzer, Rebecca Floyd, Eli Ayres , Felice Grabowski, Michael Donovan, Alexandra Krippner, Bailey Cook, Livia Barret, Eli Johnson, Stephanie Maddamma. 


03_24//   Architect’s Newspaper / March 2020 / Interiors Issue / “Crafty Y’all”
02_20//   901 East Sixth wins Regional Excellence Award in 2020 US Wood Design Awards
01_20//   Lucy covers the rewrite of Austin's Land Development Code in Jan/Feb issue of Texas Architect "Austin Code Kerfuffle Continues Contentiously"
12_19//   901 E6 and Avenue C awarded Honorable Mentions in Architects Newspaper Best of 2019 Awards
10_19//   Avenue C wins a 2019 Merit Award from Preservation Austin
08_19//   901 East Sixth wins 2019 'Best Project Innovation' Impact Award from Urban Land Institute
05_19//   Ridgeview House featured on ArchDaily
04_19//   Ridgeview House featured on Dwell "An Angular Austin Home Makes Way For Heritage Oak Trees"
09_18//   University of Texas School of Architecture Fall 2018 Series Robert and Lucy present Thoughtbarn's work
08_18//   Art in Public Places 2018 ‘ Visionary Voices’ Series Robert and Lucy present Thoughtbarn's public art projects
05_16//   Thoughtbarn awarded inaugural 2016 Silver Medal by University of Texas Tau Sigma Delta Society
12_15//   YMCA Community Garden wins Architects Newspaper 2015 'Best of Landscape' Award
11_15//   Fair Market awarded 2015 Merit Award by Preservation Austin
06_15//   YMCA Community Garden featured in Texas Architect "Colors In The Garden"
08_14//   YMCA Community Garden a finalist for SXSW 2014 Places by Design Award
06_14//   AIA Alabama 2014 Conference on Design Robert and Lucy present Thoughtbarn's work
04_14//   AIA 2014 Emerging Professionals Annual Exhibit in Washington DC Santa Anna House and Chromatic Confluence featured
11_13//   Santa Anna House featured in Tribeza "It's In The Details"
10_13//   Santa Anna House awarded 5* rating by Austin Energy Green Building Program
01_13//   Escaped Infrastructure wins 2013 PAN Year in Review Award from Americans for the Arts
12_10//   Lucy and Robert named '10 to Watch' in Tribeza's 2010 People Issue
03_04//   Ola Mae's Porch Wins Architect's Journal 2004 Small Project Award "Sweet Home Alabama"