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You x Us: Kleoniki Fotiadou

5 Questions with UXUS' Architect
21 March, 2024
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We asked Architect, Kleoniki Fotiadou, to share her thoughts on the day-to-day inspiration that feeds into her work, sustainability in design projects, how diversity enriches the creative process and hacks we can all use to stay productive.

Q: In your day-to-day life, where do you draw inspiration from?

Kleoniki: I draw inspiration from the intersection of culture, technology, and nature. Honestly, I find inspiration everywhere I look, always stopping to take photos - whether that’s when I’m exploring urban landscapes, embracing a new cultural experience, or admiring nature's intricate patterns. I’m also constantly seeking innovative ideas to push the boundaries of design. For example, I was recently reading how AI technology will become more crucial in the future of sustainable architecture here.

Kleoniki Fotiadou Urban and Landscape Photography

Q; With sustainability becoming an essential consideration for many clients, can you tell us how you approach sustainability in your creative projects?

Kleoniki: Sustainability is paramount in our creative process. We integrate it seamlessly, prioritizing sustainable materials and energy-efficient systems from start to finish.

My personal journey toward sustainability has been marked by a significant interest in exploring sustainable materials and their practical applications. This interest was sparked during collaborative efforts with clients, where we researched alternative material suppliers to align with their sustainability goals. I always keep an ongoing dialogue with suppliers to stay informed about emerging trends, sustainable practices and certifications relevant to their products - and additionally, I keep up with the latest from the InHabitat and Material District to stay informed!

Q: What is your favourite part of the creative process?

Kleoniki: The initial stages of concept development - this is where imagination takes flight, and ideas are transformed from abstract concepts into tangible visions. I can push the boundaries of design and craft innovative solutions. This phase sets the tone for the entire project.

UXUS Team Photo 2024

Q: At UXUS you have more than 16 nationalities in a company of just 30. How do these diverse perspectives enrich the creative process?

Kleoniki: Embracing diversity not only cultivates a more inclusive workplace culture but also propels our creative process forward.

Each unique perspective brings a wealth of cultural experiences, design influences, and problem-solving approaches to the table. For example, at the start of each week, the team comes together and one of our colleagues takes the floor. They delve into a topic, whatever they want, but it often draws inspiration from their culture, backgrounds and perspectives. With each presentation, we learn not only about the world beyond our own experiences but also about each other – our beliefs, traditions, and the unique stories that shape who we are.

These weekly gatherings are more than just a chance to expand our knowledge; they are a celebration of our diverse voices. In this space, everyone's story adds another layer to our collective identity.

Q: What is your top productivity hack?

Kleoniki: Meticulous planning and prioritization. By breaking down complex projects into smaller, manageable tasks and assigning realistic timelines, I ensure steady progress without feeling overwhelmed.

Technology is also a big part of streamlining that equation, from leveraging project management software for collaboration or employing automation tools to expedite repetitive tasks. Some of the top tools that enhance my productivity include:

  • For my technical drawings in CAD, I prefer utilizing automated commands to increase speed, such as using Dynamic blocks or printing with Batch Plot.
  • AI tools like ChatGPT and Midjourney assist me in framing my research on design topics or in summarizing and correcting grammar.

Lastly, when I want to disconnect from external distractions, I listen to focus music playlists, check this one out on Spotify!

About Kleoniki

Kleoniki is an architect with over eight-years experience. Focusing primarily on hospitality and retail construction, she has worked on projects for global brands including McDonald's, Asics, Triumph, L'Occitane, RBS, Med Express, Shell, MYC, and Ferrero.Highly proficient in the development of technical drawings, Kleoniki has experience working across multiple project stages and scales. Having completed the technical design for McDonald's stores across Europe, Asia and the U.S., she has supported the development and guidelines of various McDonald's global concepts.

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