Design with Purpose: Living Walls & Biophilia

By Stormy McBride On August 1, 2022 In DesignSustainabilityHealth and Well-beingGCUC Podcast

Living Green Wall

After discovering the art of nature bathing, Zach Smith, the founder at Zauben, traded in investment banking for living wall architecture. Zach talks about Zauben’s forward thinking approach to how humans spend their time indoors and connecting nature to our workspaces helps us become the better versions of ourselves in this episode of the GCUC Podcast.


Discover the undeniable benefits of biophilia with these juicy sound bites:


I started my career in investment banking, so I was very much in kind of a cold cubicle crunching numbers and heard of nature bathing, which is something that’s pretty common in Japan – just spending 20 minutes in nature. – Zach Smith, founder at Zauben


So, the thought was Ah! Living architecture would be really interesting of connecting nature in our workspaces. So Zauben is a product company that does living walls. We create immersive experiences in coworking companies and fortune 500 companies and very cool cities of the future. A holistic company that does living walls and connects our workspaces to environments that we are better versions of ourselves at. – Zach Smith, founder at Zauben


Anybody that listens to my podcast regularly knows I’m a huge advocate for health and wellness and that you have to have plants in your workspace and in your home. – Liz Elam, founder at GCUC


We didn’t want to be green “fill in the blank”. So, we’re like, let’s, let’s zag from everything out there and hopefully spark that question of Zauben. What’s it mean? It’s here people. It’s Zauben. – Zach Smith, founder at Zauben 


Zauben is a living architecture company. Living walls, vertical gardens. It’s interchangeable. It’s really in its infancy as part of the market. But what we do is we really have a forward-thinking approach into how humans are spending our time indoors, particularly at work. – Zach Smith, founder at Zauben


We are spending 90% of our time indoors, and 90k hours over a lifetime at work. Our whole inception was that’s kind of sad and how we’re spending our time is mostly at work, but the things that make us better workers more productive is usually when we’re away from the office. – Zach Smith, founder at Zauben


The way we work is the catalyst to the next industrial revolution. And I like to call it the human revolution because that’s what’s happening right now. We have this choice and we’re making all these different choices around how and where we work and people get to choose now. – Liz Elam, founder at GCUC


Technology is a really big part of what we’re doing, and the system itself is hydroponic. So there’s no dirt, there’s no bugs, its antimicrobial so it’s not decaying over time. But then we also have sensors in it detecting a few things: temperature levels, humidity levels, and moisture levels. – Zach Smith, founder at Zauben


Most important beautiful plant lighting that plants need to have great adequate lighting it there’s. Which also goes with human wellness and a certain level of understanding how we’re activating plants in our spaces. It comes automated with just Earth’s natural light cycle for plants, but also for people. – Zach Smith, founder at Zauben


We are seeing stress levels decrease by as much as 30%, productivity levels increase as much as 15%, but also in noisy areas where we’re working, having conversations, zoom meetings…the acoustic performance – noise decreased by 15 decibel points. – Zach Smith, founder at Zauben


There’s so many coworking spaces now and people have so many options, they go and they try several and they figure out which one fits them and they may not even know why, but if there’s a green space versus a non-green space, they’re probably going to be more attracted to the green space because they’re human cave people. – Liz Elam, founder at GCUC


There’s a lot of scary things happening today. And climate change is a known entity now, but like there’s also a lot of really incredible things happening. So I think like if you’re getting down about the world today, a really fun thing to do is go look at some of the innovation happening. Like it’s incredible. – Liz Elam, founder at GCUC


It’s going to be green. Our future has to, right? Our future is going to be green, not in just our practices, and sustainability, but we’re going to live in this space where our parks are. I do believe that’s the future we’re going to live in. – Zach Smith, founder at Zauben

Click HERE to listen to the full podcast with Liz Elam and Zach Smith. It’s juicy!