Insights from Aviation Design Leaders

After the substantial disruption of COVID-19, aviation is back and moving full speed ahead. With that comes new challenges, but also new chances to enhance airport design and experience. As leaders in designing the world's top airports, concepts for future spaceports and UberAir Skyports, it's no surprise that our aviation team is used to moving quickly— interpreting emerging technology and new trends without losing control of design that keeps people first.

Hear from our aviation design leaders as they share insights into what's driving the future of the sector. From sustainability to a streamlined process, here's a roundup of what to look for the next time you take to the skies.


Liftoff: Elevating Design

Shelly Nichols, Associate Principal, Aviation Studio

"Change is the catalyst that propels us forward and pushes us to do things we did not dream we were capable of! What I love most about design is that the principles of design are constant, but how they are applied and implemented is always changing and shifting. One thing I've learned in the past couple of years is to appreciate each day for what it brings— embracing change is so much easier and more rewarding than fighting it."


Christopher Sale, Project Design Manager — Vice President, Aviation Studio

"Designing for longevity is sustainable. Knowing that growth, new technology, and operational changes are inevitable, accommodating flexibility is key. Meanwhile, using enduring, high-performing materials is a simple way to ensure that our work is not only beautiful but will stand the test of time."


Ginger Gee DiFurio, Studio Design Director — Vice President, Aviation Studio

"From an aviation interiors standpoint, I think the need for travelers to feel comfortable, cozy, and welcomed will be more important than ever. After being home so much during the pandemic, passengers no longer want to be in a cold and impersonal environment. Therefore, hospitality, rest and wellness, and residential design trends will permeate the design industry.”


Lessons from the Pandemic

Joseph Adams, Associate Principal, Aviation Studio

"After the significant disruption of COVID-19 on the industry, aviation is back, but not without some new challenges. Supply shortages are impacting our design and construction processes, forcing us to stay agile and explore alternatives to materials, equipment, and systems that we've grown comfortable with over the years. It will be interesting to see what new material and manufacturer contenders arise and if availability leads to design trend shifts. As the worldwide supply chain struggles to get back to its old rhythm, designers and builders will need to adapt to work with what is available to continue to deliver projects on time and within budget. "


New Horizons: What’s Next

Barry Yanku, Studio Design Director — Vice President, Aviation Studio

"You can't contemplate the future of transportation without thinking of how sustainable effort will play a role in it. With new modes of travel and a future of alternative fuel for terminals and aircrafts on the horizon, there are bound to be major changes in the aviation industry. As designers, we are excited for the next challenge!"


Joel Efrussy, Studio Design Director — Vice President, Aviation Studio

"Within the last two years, so many of us have adapted to a much more on-demand lifestyle, whether that is groceries delivered right to your door or having an infinite number of products that are only a click away. We are seeing this expectation parallel itself in the aviation environment. From checking bags and waiting in line for concessions to scanning the boarding pass, passengers want a streamlined, automated, and individualized experience when traveling. They see it can be done with so many aspects of their life, and they are ready for that level of convenience and personalization in their air travel experience."


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