What do you do? (job, community involvement): Founder of Duluth Waterfront Collective, landscape designer at Architectural Resources Inc.
What is important to you? I’ve been thinking about this a lot during the past year or so. My family is the easy answer here, but beyond just doing my best to care for the incredible people in my life, I also find that honesty, openness and dedication are things that I find important — both in terms of my own attitude and what I look for in other people. I think it’s critical to look at the world with eyes wide open and to approach people with empathy. I also feel it’s important to understand the past, live in the present, and plan for the future.
How do you spend your free time? I spend as much time as I can outside. I love to bike, swim, skateboard and hike. I take long walks; it’s simultaneously an adventure and a form of therapy.
I also spend a lot of time with food — growing it, cooking it, eating it, reading about it. I love to find a new ingredient and go on Wikipedia to read its history and learn what nutrients it has. I actually do that with pretty much everything. Discovering new people, places, objects, etc., is almost always followed by some time on Wikipedia. We’ve got so much information at our fingertips, so I try to use it to my advantage.
I do a lot of random urban design work just for fun, and I talk more about infrastructure than any person should in their free time. I also make music under the name Studio Kid, and take lots of pictures.
If it sounds like I do a lot, let it be known, one of my favorite things to do in my free time is absolutely nothing.
From nominator: "Jordan is able to think about cities both as visionary concepts and as actual places people live. He understands that how an urban area is designed affects the health and vitality of that area's economy and social structure, but also the residents who live there. He cares about reimagining Duluth's downtown waterfront because he deeply cares about the city and sees its potential. He goes out of his way to meet with community members about the Highway 61 Revisited project (highway61duluth.com), even — and especially — those who disagree with him. He has his whole heart in making Duluth a better place and making sure the community is involved in the decision making for that process. .… Jordan's work has been recognized on a national and international scale. He will change Duluth for the better — and the world!" — Abigail Blonigen