“When a man is eager and willing, the gods join in…”
While I’m an Architect by training and profession, I’ve always considered myself an Artist as well.
In addition to designing buildings, I draw, paint, and also write and record music. I’ve dabbled in film, comedy, and have an intense interest in history and philosophy.
I’ve been a licensed Architect in the United States for 25 years and have worked in the profession of Architecture for close to 30. Over the course of my career as an Architect, I’ve provided architectural design services internationally to a diverse group of clients including top-tier real estate development companies in the United States and abroad.
I’ve been very fortunate as an Architect to have traveled extensively as part of my work. In addition to projects in New York, I’ve designed projects and have spent time in cities as varied as Doha, Seoul, Dhaka, San Francisco, Cairo, Moscow, Panama, Kyiv, Donetsk, Batumi, Athens, Dubai, Istanbul and Ankara, which comprise just a part of the list. As a result, it’s fair to say I’ve been blessed with a unique education that one is afforded only through travel. As Socrates said via Plutarch “I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.”
My design experience covers a broad range of projects and scales including residential, commercial and hospitality design. In 2009, I founded my own firm, John Fotiadis Architect PLLC, (AKA ‘JFA”), which I decided to close in December 2017.
I graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture (cum laude) from Temple University in 1989, and also hold a Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design from Columbia University (1991).
I started drawing before I could speak and developed a love of visual Art from an early age. I’ve had spurts of intense drawing and painting throughout my adult life, which have explored a number of themes and techniques, but always being primarily inspired by the imagery of my early childhood years when I spent what seemed like many endless and wonderful summers in Greece.
In July of 2019, I returned to Greece once more, but with the specific intent of immersing myself in classical antiquity for a few weeks in and around Athens – having read the classic histories of Herodotus, Pausanius, and Plutarch the winter before. What resulted was a series of drawings that I call “The Solace of Antiquity”. I am hopeful this will become an open ended project (I plan on adding to the drawings), and hope to eventually translate some of the imagery into paintings.
I’ve recently started an Instagram account where I am posting images from my sketchbook archive. Please visit: https://www.instagram.com/emptycitysquare/
Music has also run as another parallel in my life. I am largely a self-taught musician and have been playing music in one form or another since grammar school. While I took formal lessons in drums and percussion, I quickly went through the process of teaching myself guitar, bass and keyboards soon after. Once I discovered the Beatles, I was inspired by them to write, record and play my own music. In 2007, I designed a home recording studio that I affectionately call “Yanni Road”, and which I have been using as a musical laboratory ever since. I created my sometimes real/sometimes virtual band, “Empty City Squares” in 2009, and have used it as a vehicle to release original music recorded at Yanni Road. My music has been alternately called “Power Pop”, “Indie” or “Art Rock”. I think of it as music which is rooted in a pop/rock tradition, but that strives for intellectual depth. I’m happy to say I’m in the middle of (Summer 2020), writing my third album of original music.
In addition to my original “thinking man’s pop”, I’ve also dabbled in more commercial aspects of music, and have written and recorded music to order for Theater, TV and Podcasts including Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast.
One last thing – having inexplicably met and befriended a disproportionate number of people named “John” over the course of my life and career(s), which has at times left me either annoyed or amused, I decided some time ago to tell my friends to call me what my family calls me (my Greek name), “Yanni”. that seems to have stuck.
Click here for more detail on my ARCHITECTURE, ART and MUSIC.