John Groves on Airports as Living Rooms, Recomposure Spaces, & Trends in Design | Episode 18

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Welcome back to the Agati Video Podcast, a space where Joe Agati, COO & Director of Design here at Agati Furniture, hosts conversations with designers, architects, and difference-makers to bring inspiration and education to your work.

“We want to give every passenger the opportunity to wind down or plug in, whatever they need.” – John Groves

For today’s episode of the podcast, I had the opportunity to talk with John Groves, Senior Interior Designer with AECOM, one of the most trusted infrastructure consulting firms, partnering with their clients to solve complex challenges in a variety of industries. John has been in the design industry for multiple decades.

In our conversation, we discussed how John got started in transportation design, what a recomposure space is in an airport, why they are designing aviation spaces more like living rooms, what it looks like to meet traveler needs in today’s world, and so much more.

John had so much great insight. Check it out!




  • “At the end of the day, it’s great to see people really utilize and enjoy the spaces that they’re in.”
  • “Airports have changed over time, and we’re making them more like a living room.”
  • “We want to give every passenger the opportunity to wind down or plug in, whatever they need.”
  • “There has been a new focus on restrooms. Because it is a major amenity, it needs to look good and work well.”
  • “The area beyond TSA is what we’re now referring to as recomposure.”
  • “We want to provide equal opportunity at every gate.”
  • “Having more amenities and more content available to travelers makes delays more bearable.”
  • “It’s all about customer experience.”

Our Key Takeaways:

1) How can we make busy spaces feel like home? John talked a lot about their efforts to make airports feel more like a living room in recent years, and we love that terminology. As part of the efforts to provide great customer experience, we want travelers to feel comfortable and safe, no matter how long they are spending before or between flights.

2) We need to craft intentional recomposure spaces. This was another excellent term John gave us in this episode. When your stuff is all over the place after TSA, it’s important to have space where you can “recompose” yourself, get your things together, and prepare for the rest of your travelers. John gave a great example of what this has looked like in action.

3) Customer experience is at the heart of design. Ultimately, this is what it’s all about. As we’re pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, solving challenges, and getting creative with solutions, let’s not lose sight of the purpose. We want to make the lives of the people who use our space better.

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