Our Design Team
Our design team is a diverse and talented lot. Not only do they bring their unique perspective to every project, but each designer is also a Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI). Which means, they’re not only designing for aesthetics and fun, but also with safety in mind. From playground designers to custom designers, conceptors to sculptors and artists, we’ll help you create one-of-a-kind playgrounds that become a source of community pride.
"Creating joy for kids is what drives me."
Scott brings more than 20 years of design experience and a childhood spent building cities in the sandbox to his leadership of our design team. His professional design background ranges from custom exhibits and displays to children’s museums and installations. Scott understands the intricacies of making a stunning visual impact while also offering a very personal experience. Scott believes that every playground should inspire the imagination of children, and they’ll take it from there.
"I’ve always loved swinging. The experience of feeling like you can touch the sky is awesome."
Allison wears many hats at Landscape Structures. Some days, she’s designing playgrounds. Other days, she’s designing custom graphics for signage. And some days, she’s designing company tradeshow exhibits. But the greatest part of what she does is creating fun, imaginative environments for kids to play and grow. Allison loves the collaboration that comes from her team’s dedication to constant improvement. Going from concept to development to installation is very rewarding.
"I love to design playgrounds in all shapes, sizes and colors - You want a pink Barbie® playground? I can design it!"
Christine has nearly 20 years of playground design experience and knows just how personal a playground can be for a community. After studying mechanical drafting and design, she has devoted herself to going above and beyond when it comes to custom playground design. Christine believes a playground concept should be rooted in the community, creating a far more invested experience—while ensuring her clients are getting the highest play value for their budgets.
"I invest a little piece of myself into every project that I work on."
Cole celebrates his visits to the playground as one of the first freedoms he had as a child, and the equipment as a catalyst for imagination and friendship. He’s now able to create that reality for others. Working in 3D opens a vast world of possibilities. And working collaboratively inspires innovation. Cole and his team are constantly working to push beyond what’s expected of a playground render to accurately reflect the quality of our products to customers.
"I want to do my best, not just for our customers, but for my coworkers as well."
Prior to his more than 10 years at Landscape Structures, Cory was designing, installing and supervising playgrounds for almost another 10 years as an independent playground consultant. He brings this first-hand experience to the reps and clients he currently works with to design the best playgrounds in the world. Cory’s favorite projects are the local ones because he gets to visit them. He loves seeing something go from computer screen to the field.
"I have a blast designing play spaces people can't wait to visit!"
Before joining the Landscape Structures design team in 2018, Darbie worked for an architecture firm and brings vast expertise working with nonprofit organizations. Using her creative problem-solving skills, Darbie approaches playground design like an ultimate puzzle that needs to be put together. She challenges herself to find new and creative ways to layout fun and inclusive play environments that help shape the future by supporting children’s growth.
"One of my favorite projects included drawing and programming epoxy painted signs."
The laid-back atmosphere and approachable culture at Landscape Structures has kept Dave on our side for nearly 30 years. He got his start on playgrounds through an old rickety merry-go-round at his elementary school. Naturally, this led to an interest in architectural drawing. Now he designs custom items and signs for the best playgrounds in the world.
"Nothing’s scripted. Every project brings a new story and a new challenge."
Gerald has essentially grown up with the industry, having been with Landscape Structures for more than 30 years. He’s a playground designer first and foremost, but also aids the design team in software use, safety standards, ADA standards, proper product use and overall design layout. Experience has taught him that understanding the timeless essentials of how kids play and look at things leads to designs that outlast the latest trends.
"I was fascinated with making monsters as a kid."
Jay has been a lead sculptor and painter for more than two decades. He’s worked in make-up special effects for dozens of Hollywood films including “Batman & Robin”. He also created highly detailed items for museums including the Smithsonian, the Natural History Museum in San Diego and the Science Museum of Minnesota. Jay brings finer details and textures into play for every playground he touches, through his creation and artistry with concrete sculptures, ensuring a deeper connection to fun.
"Landscape Structures is a fun factory!"
Jenny’s worked as a 3D designer at Landscape Structures since 2003. Before that, she studied interior design. Before that, she used to swing as high as she could. She still does. She brings her child-like curiosity, positive spirit and enthusiasm to every new challenge and learning opportunity she finds. Jenny celebrates our family-oriented culture that allows her to have healthy priorities both at work and away from the office, while making the best playgrounds in the world.
"I love to understand the ability and limitations of how children move to make our 3D playground designs as real as possible!"
Before coming to Landscape Structures as a 3D Designer in May 2017, Joey redesigned gym spaces for Snap Fitness. Joey enjoys collaborating with fellow designers and challenging himself to improve his skills, learn new technology and impact the future of playground design. Since a child, Joey has been using his imagination on the playground to create unique interactions with friends. Now he uses it to help customers visualize their playground.
"I loved anything on the playground that could spin or swing; my sisters and I would take turns try to make each other sick."
Since joining Landscape Structures in October 2016, John has embraced the culture of learning and helping each other, which fosters creativity and growth. He likes challenging his creative-thinking skills by trying to fit as much fun as possible into a small play space. And John's favorite projects includes combining the Evos? and PlayBooster? playsystems to create a playscape that's both visually and physically engaging.
"I love bringing dreams into reality."
Jonathan came to Landscape Structures in 2013, with 20 years of experience as an Art Director building brands, websites, and ads. As a concrete artist he’s always observing nature closely, looking for details to add realism and interest to the trees, rocks, and other pieces he sculpts and paints. Jonathan’s tremendous sense of ownership of the company and the work, as well as the responsibility of influencing countless children’s lives drives him to create more interesting and fun pieces.
"I always dreamed of becoming a playground designer and now get to make my ideas a reality as my job!"
Kelly’s early aspirations on becoming a playground designer is no longer a dream, but a reality. She loves getting to switch back into the playful mindset of a child to create a customer’s dreams and ideas into an epic finished project. Traveling to new playgrounds to scope out new and innovative ideas, helps to inspire her own designs. Her favorite projects have been the ones including unique climbing components providing kids with endless ways to explore and play.
"I get to create a one-of-a-kind experience that lasts forever!"
Krista has worked as a playground designer since March 2018. Before coming to Landscape Structures, she specialized in residential decorating and interior design. She leverages the unique culture of Landscape Structures to tap into the decades of experience of other designers and her out-of-the-box thinking to influence the outcome of her projects. Her creativity for designing is fueled by seeing herself as a child experiencing the playground for the first time. It's the icing on the cake when she is able to see the installed project and hear stories of the children using the playground!
"We all strive to make each and every project the best it can be."
Mark worked with a prominent Twin Cities architecture firm and large-scale home builder before coming to Landscape Structures over 10 years ago. He enjoys the challenge of dealing with different design requirements. In his opinion, the way play spaces engage children is evolving, but the essentials of play remain the same. To address this, Mark focuses on open continuous play designs that are designed to be highly adaptable to needs in the future.
"Being employee-owned is a win-win for employees and the end customers."
Nikki’s been with Landscape Structures since 2006, but her previous experience as an interior designer still informs her approach. Her attention to proper spatial planning creates natural, safe pathways for children, while giving them the room to enjoy the play experience. She aims to focus on the needs of the child by incorporating multiple sensory experiences into every design she works on. One of her favorites was working on the Wizard of Oz playground for Epcot?’s 2013 Flower and Garden Festival.
"It’s sort of like playing with an erector set."
Pat started with Landscape Structures in 2000 and has been a certified playground safety inspector since 2001. When she tells people she’s a playground designer, she waits for their reaction. Many people don’t realize that a playground isn’t just a model you order out of the catalog. She describes how we make individual components and build a structure depending on the needs and wants of the customer. She enjoys the different ideas that come from all over the world and getting to know their cultures.
"Every playground tells a story."
In his nearly 30 years as a concept designer, Gunnar has approached every project with a childlike fascination. He makes use of local landmarks, relevant icons or even fairy tales to spark a play narrative. His background includes sculpting animals for the Rainforest Cafe?, building parade floats for Minneapolis’ Holidazzle and Aquatennial festivals, and teaching high school theater groups how to build their props. Gunnar knows how to bring out our inner stories and make them larger than life by capturing every detail and maximizing fun in any playground.
"It’s incredible to design something that generates excitement and exceeds expectations."
Sheri’s worked with Landscape Structures since 2008, designing playgrounds that integrate learning and play to support child development, problem solving, confidence building and honing social skills for kids of all abilities. Coming from a large family, Sheri remembers first-hand how children interact and play, and draws often on those memories to imagine her designs through the eyes of a child.
"At the playground, I always looked forward to meeting new friends."
Stefanie brought more than 11 years of experience in interior design, construction management and parenting to Landscape Structures when she started with us in 2011. Growing up in the country, there weren’t many neighbor kids for her to play with unless she went into town or the nearest playground. Valuing the playground as a social space influences the collaborative way Stefanie translates the ideas of local consultants and clients into places for children to make friends and let their imaginations run wild together.
"Landscape Structures' culture is unique because people truly value working here - it isn't just a job, but a team effort!"
Scott's been a member of the design team at Landscape Structures since March 2019 where he came to us an architectural drafter. For every playground Scott designs, he challenges himself to work in as many play components to increase the play value and maximize the budget. Scott loves to hear when a playground that he designs gets installed because he knows kids in a neighborhood or school are benefiting from and enjoying his work of art. Scott's taken his childhood dream of becoming a paleontologist and includes the GFRC Fossil Dig on playground designs whenever the opportunity presents itself!
"I love the values that Barb and Steve left us all with and I always think, "What would Barb think about this?""
Tara worked as a Landscape Structures playground designer for seven years before deciding to stay home with her growing family. In 2018, we were lucky enough for Tara to come back to the design team. Tara loves taking a customer’s wish list and turning it into a playground of their dreams, complete with spaces for kids to hang out and work on their social skills. Tara also has the great privilege of designing playgrounds for KABOOM!, where finds tremendous pride in creating a new playground space for each deserving community that brings family and friends together.
"Visiting playgrounds as a child gave me the freedom to image whatever I wanted!"
Taylor enjoys using 3D software to build and show clients amazing custom and innovative project designs. She thrives on collaborating with her fellow designers and on the challenge of meeting tight deadlines without sacrificing quality. Taylor constantly looks at where technology is heading to incorporate it to deliver the best customer experience. The bright and uplifting culture at Landscape Structures inspires her to work smarter, making her designs stand out against the competition.
"I climbed everything as a child—even things that weren’t meant to be climbed."
Throughout his education and architectural career, Tim has learned to question everything—even the basics. Never take anything for granted. He believes in designing for the future by recognizing trends, but more importantly, to find something that sparks a trend instead of just following one. He takes interest in the backstory behind every one-of-a-kind project—whether heartfelt, rational, or completely out there.
"I want to turn every client’s dream into a fresh, unique reality."
With nearly three decades of playground design experience, Tom focuses on the vision and passion behind each project to bring it to life. He also makes sure every project our team creates meets strict safety standards and structural soundness, from original design sketches to final materials and construction. While this often means reigning in the designers’ ideas, his voice of reason is a key part to ensuring every playground’s a success.
"Every project, we push a little further beyond ourselves."
Tory has been with Landscape Structures since 2006, using his background in fine arts to bring an incredible sense of creativity and thoughtfulness to the custom playgrounds he designs. Most of his inspiration comes from listening to his clients’ ideas and needs and working hand-in-hand with them through the final outcome. For Tory, the key to creating iconic play areas and gathering spaces stems from a simple question, “Would I be excited to play on this playground?”
"My favorite part of the playground was swinging as high as I could and seeing who could jump the farthest."
Tricia joined Landscape Structures in September 2015, and has been creating DigiFuse? graphics for playground designs. She is constantly learning, and comes into work every day driven to create great designs that encourage kids to interact and make new friends. Her favorite projects have involved collaborating with the concept designers to help incorporate graphics into new designs. Tricia always tries to think outside the box to create timeless designs and stay up-to-date by reading articles to see what is going on in the design world.
"I love designing the overall iconic piece, as well as the small details that make something fun to interact with and delightful to use!"
Victoria’s childhood joy of building forts, play houses, and imaginative play spaces has perfectly prepared her to design amazing playgrounds. She loves to explore what makes a community unique and translating that into the universal language of play. Some of her favorite projects have been ones with smaller budgets, challenging herself to still create a personal, unique finished product that the exceeds the client's wildest dreams.