Leadership / Anna-Lisa Frank, Director, Workplace


While the pace of the world around us–our city, our job, even our commute–moves at a brisk speed,
Anna-Lisa Frank, Director, Workplace at Figure3, cuts through the commotion and sees the value in slowing
down. Finding solace in solitude, Frank seeks moments of calm within the chaos, finding inspiration in
observing the world around her.

For a creatively-driven kid in a small town, the resources available to be fully immersed in the arts were
limited for Frank. It was through the parents of a friend (who happened to be art teachers in a neighbouring
town) that Frank began her journey into the arts world. Constantly sketching, drawing, and crafting, a careers course in highschool eventually introduced architecture and interior design as a way to translate her affinity
for creativity into a career. Understanding the growing importance of tech in an ever-evolving world, Frank
selected the more electronic-focused interior design program at Sheridan College. A successful three week
co-op placement at an interior design firm turned into a job offer, where Frank truly began her initiation
into the professional design industry.

Throughout her 12 years with Figure3, Frank has flourished from her start as a Project Designer, to her current
role as Director, Workplace. The key to her continued success lies in her ability to remain focused and present, while finding the time to slow down. “My husband and I travel a lot and use the time to immerse ourselves
into other environments,” shares Frank. “We love to watch and just observe how people are meandering
through and interacting with spaces.” It is in these quiet, wallflower moments that Frank decompresses,
and uses observation as an outlet of both relaxation and inspiration.

“I love experiencing the wow factor at the
end of the project.
Seeing a client walk through
the space, and having them feel like they have
been heard and it’s exactly what they thought
they wanted–or even more than what they ever
thought they could have, for their employees
and themselves.”

As a first-time mother to an already outgoing son, Frank’s once-solo commutes to and from work and his
daycare, are now used as an opportunity for her little one to divulge details about his day. “This industry and these leadership roles can carry a lot of stress, so it’s important to keep myself present while i’m in the office, and equally present while i’m at home to naturally separate but also balance the two,” she explains.

Stepping into her leadership role at Figure3, Frank now oversees the workplace design team, as well as
leading projects for large-scale clients including RioCan and Miller Thomson. To seamlessly
harmonize the multitude of moving parts, Frank looks at the big picture strategy, mapping out how all the
intricate pieces fit, and pivoting as needed as the project grows and takes shape. Her leadership style is
deeply rooted in open dialogue and communication: ensuring that everyone feels their voice is heard, and
work is completed with an abundanc e of support towards a common goal. “Success, to me, is having our
team feel as though they are functioning as one collective while we work to make our clients feel
comfortable and confident in what we are presenting.”

As the world continues to swirl and pulse around her, Frank sidesteps the clamor in search of those bites
of quiet contemplation. “Solo running is my time to help clear my head,” she shares. “I can immerse myself
in the environment around me and get lost in my own thoughts. This is where most of my best thinking
and ideas take place.”