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 love to design playgrounds in all shapes, sizes and colors - You want a pink Barbie® playground? I can design it!"
Christine has more than 10 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 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.
"The adventure of the playground was always intriguing to me."
Nick has been with Landscape Structures since June 1999, when he started as a 3D design intern. Since then, his rapidly growing experience and passion for play has made him an invaluable part of the custom design team. With his love of historic architecture, Nick is able to incorporate the history of a place, a town or people into the look and function of a playground. Now with a son of his own, Nick knows first-hand what makes for a memorable and fun play experience. Nick strives to ensure his clients are as proud of their custom playground as he is.
"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.
"I want to turn every client’s dream into a fresh, unique reality."
With more than two 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?”
"I want to do my best, not just for our customers, but for my coworkers as well."
Prior to his six-and-a-half years at Landscape Structures, Cory was designing, installing and supervising playgrounds for almost ten 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 was an active child so I understand what a child wants in a playground."
Jordan has been doing detail 3D modeling for nearly six years. He joined Landscape Structures as a 3D Design Intern in May 2014 and enjoys the collaborative environment, where there’s always room to experiment and grow. Jordan is excited about bringing new techniques and improvements to old ones to every project he’s assigned, creating more realistic, appealing and accurate final products.
"Our careers are focused on fun and play. How could we not be happy doing what we do?"
Matt brings 12 years of experience in construction imagery and theming to Landscape Structures. He’s built massive, themed waterparks, restaurants, zoos and playgrounds all over the U.S. and Canada. He’s helped develop new concrete playground innovations such as our nature-inspired climbers. As a child, Matt was always finding new ways to use the playground with his friends and that mindset still carries through today, as he discovers new opportunities to “think outside the box”.
"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.
"There’s a great sense of ownership and pride in everything I do."
Gabriel has been with Landscape Structures for six years, bringing his background in architecture and engineering and a unique perspective to the team. He takes pride in working at a company that’s setting trends in inclusive play. Some of his most rewarding projects have been working with Shane’s Inspiration on culturally significant projects that have made huge impacts on local communities by creating spaces and play opportunities for people of all abilities.
"Landscape Structures is a fun factory!"
Jenny’s worked as a 3D designer at Landscape Structures for 11 years. 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.
"Employee ownership inspires me to add value on every project."
As a project manager, Ken makes sure there are processes, systems and resources in place that allow for designers to be at their best. In addition, Ken’s positive attitude creates a fun atmosphere that keeps the designers laughing. Exceeding customer expectations can be both the most interesting and challenging part of the job, yet Ken finds a unique way to connect clients to the right information and design resources, while managing project timelines to ensure every outcome is a success.
"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 25 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.
"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.
"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 more than 20 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.
"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.
"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 nearly eight 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.
"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.
"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 make playgrounds more awesomer."
Jonah designed toys at LEGO®, including the original launch of LEGO Star Wars™ in 2000, and designed displays at Target®, including live camera showcases and video game interactives. He finds a special sense of purpose in working with a team to make something amazing for children. Jonah always keeps in mind that our designs will be around for decades, and tries to use timeless themes that won’t look dated or odd years from now.
"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.
"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.
"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.