All Sustainability History Project Oral Histories


Michael Zilis

Streaming Media

Publication Date


Document Type



1 hour


Landscape architecture, Sustainable design -- Oregon -- Portland, Green roofs (Gardening)


Interview of Michael Zilis by Gerald Bones at Portland, Oregon on November 29th, 2006.

The interview index is available for download.


Michael Zilis has been a Landscape Architect for over 25 years. He grew up in Chicago. He started working for Walker Macy in 1987, and has spent at least fifteen years involved with the physical nature of landscaping.


Mike Zilis (as of 2006) is a landscape architect working for Walker and Macy as a principle architect. He became interested in landscape architecture because it blends his love of the environment with the creativity of design. Mike stresses the importance of placing the right things in the right places as a key element of the success of the projects he works on. If the materials do not fit correctly with their environment, they cannot be sustainable and long-lasting. The importance for an installation to be sustainable is the ability for long-lasting value, with little upkeep. For this to be done it is important that required resources and materials provide the most sustainable value.

This interview is part of “The Sustainability History Project: Documenting Sustainable Development and Practice in the Pacific Northwest” at Portland State University.


This digital access copy is made available as streaming media for personal, educational, and non-commercial use within the parameters of “fair use” as defined under U.S. Copyright law. It cannot be reproduced, distributed, or broadcasted for commercial purposes. For more information, please contact Special Collections at Portland State University Library at: or (503) 725-9883.

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