Retaining Wall.

People Matter: Jason Granado

Jason Granado is a Landscape Designer in our Washington, DC office! Jason has been with the LandDesign team for four years, and you can see some of his handy work at the Military Sculptures Memorial at National Harbor. When he isn’t collaborating with LandDesigners across the firm, he’s living his best life with fries and Frosty’s. Keep reading to get to know LandDesigner Jason Granado.

Q: Why landscape architecture?

I was always building things when I was growing up. A wood shop was a second home for me, so I figured life as a designer would suit me pretty well. In undergrad, I studied architecture and started asking questions like, “Where does the building land?” “How does it impact the neighborhood?” “What is the network to society that this building is creating?” I realized architecture became very insular and became interested in the outward connection into our world. To me, landscape architecture is defined as a series of networks and systems that overlay on top of each other, and those connection points are the points of confluence for design to be celebrated.

Q: Favorite LandDesign project you’ve worked on?

Military Sculpture Memorial at National Harbor

Too many to count! But, the Military Sculptures Memorial at National Harbor takes the cake for my favorite project. There was nothing like being out there on Veterans Day when they unveiled the memorial.

Q: What drives you to create places that matter?

I look to the left and to the right of my desk, and the people sitting next to me drive me to create places that matter. This is not someone’s design, its everyone’s design.

Q: Who would you like to collaborate with that you haven’t already?

I’ve been fortunate in my career at LandDesign to have been exposed to many people across the firm, and worked with many different clients. I know I will be able to work alongside many people in the firm as the years progress, but the question being asked is who would I like to collaborate with? I don’t inherently look at someone in the firm, but think about other firms and other disciplines that LandDesign could do a joint venture with. I would love to work alongside some of the designers that create products that we spec everyday, can you image the latest LandDesign bench on landscape forms?

Q: Fill in the blank. “This Life Matters.”

I know this sounds cheesy and cliché, but in reality, life is the most important thing that matters.

Q: What would the title of your autobiography be?

I’ll take it Neat.” It sounds weird, but if you drink whiskey there is a way to drink it called “neat.” Drinking anything neat means you are having it straight up with no ice, drop of water or any other mixes. I think the first time you are drinking anything new, it should be drunk neat — free of any other influences and pure. This is also how I look at life and want to live my life. Be a little raw, exposed and try new things for yourself, pure and uninfluenced by others, or an ice cube.

Q: If your life had a theme song, what would it be?

Is it possible to pick just one? There are many different moments in your life, in your day, that require different songs. I am going to change the question to really ask, what music has been influential in your life.

  1. Sublime — nothing sets the mood like sitting on the beach enjoying life with Sublime in the background.
  2. Rage Against the Machine — The first time you hear Tom Morello play the guitar and Zack De la Rocha scream into the mic, it gave me the idea to begin to question social norms and the idea that we do not have to fit in a box, live your life.
  3. Beastie Boys — this was my first introduction to the world of Hip Hop and never looked back.
  4. Lindsey Stirling — It’s not just the beautiful sound, but the idea that she took a traditional instrument that is so refined and “proper” and turned it on its head. Her ability to jump from something like Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” and transition to Kanye West’s “Stronger” in such an elegant way is mind blowing.
  5. Currently, I have been listening to a lot of Blues – Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, and such.

Music has been influential in my life and really set the stage for a lot of my life ethos.

Q: Favorite thing about living in DC?

I am living outside of the DC area in Northern Virginia, which helps lead to a balanced life. One of the best parts about living in this area are the museums and history that is all around. Also, I am an avid cyclist and there are plenty of roadways and trails to jump on. This summer, I am riding from Pittsburgh, PA to DC which will be an epic ride.

Q: Best fast food french fry?

Easy answer — Wendy’s Fries, if and only if they are used to scoop out your Frosty. If you’re asking what flavor Frosty, then you have another issue because there is only one true flavor to Frostys. But if the Frosty wasn’t on the table, then I would have to go with waffle fries as they have the best surface area for ketchup. And not organic ketchup — because really what is that?

Q: What’s the last thing you made?

Probably dinner.