Arizona State University, named most innovative university by U.S. News & World Report for seven years running, actively supports sustainability education and research on local and global levels. This dedication to advancement extends to emulating nature’s answer to everyday challenges.

It is that dedication that keeps Joe Zazzera, ASU alumni and co-owner of Plant Solutions, coming back to work with the university. Most recently, he provided thought leadership to incorporate the principles of biophilic design into the redesign of ASU’s Biomimicry Center on the university’s Tempe campus. The Biomimicry Center is a partnership with Biomimicry 3.8 that works to address a variety of sustainability challenges using methodologies inspired by natural systems.

“Remaining connected to ASU has given me many opportunities to do my part in sharing how important biomimicry and biophilic design can be to everyday function for humans,” said Zazzera, who has also served as an adjunct faculty member at ASU. “It was thrilling to be part of the center remodel and work directly with an organization focused on bringing nature indoors to further the innate connection with nature that we all need.”

During the remodel, Zazzera and Plant Solutions aided in the design and installation of lichen infused concrete walls, utilizing salvaged materials and lichen scrap from various projects which was then worked into existing cracks in the concrete.

Plant Solutions also created a series of living walls using indoor plants specifically chosen to thrive in the space. These walls are moveable and can be displayed in various configurations to promote a both a healthy physical and mental space for staff, students and visitors. Studies show that the addition of living features to workspaces can promote cleaner air, while bright colors and vibrant smells from plants can boost productivity, increase creativity and lead to better recall and memory retention.

Zazzera continues to spread the word about the positive effects of biophilic design through various events at the university, including providing a lecture on biophilia and biomimicry sponsored by the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. Speakers in the series discussed a range of environmental, social and economic topics.

Plant Solutions has worked for more than 40 years to incorporate biophilic designs into offices, businesses and homes around the Valley. We are committed to bringing quality work into every job while promoting creativity and well-being. Learn more about our approach to indoor landscaping and design at